Animals in the Museum

January 26, 2019 - April 28, 2019
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The elephant in the room.


Cat got your tongue?

The bond between humans and animals permeates our language, as well as our art. The earliest known forms of visual expression included depictions of animals scrawled on cave walls. That tradition continues today with many contemporary artists centering their practice on the examination of animals and our connection to them. 

Animals in the Museum will present over 60 works of art drawn primarily from the Figge’s collection, including paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, and video works. In addition to exploring themes including animals as symbols, fantastic animals, beasts of burden and animals as pets this exhibition will celebrate the artistry involved in the depiction of wildlife.

Why are artists and humans in general so drawn to animals? Our relationship with animals has changed drastically throughout history. Ancient people lived in close proximity to beasts that they simultaneously feared and worshiped as well as hunted for food. In the not-so-distant past, animals were an integral part of everyday life as a means of transportation and labor. For most people in the 21st century, our closest interaction with animals occurs in our homes. This trajectory from gods to companions is reflected in the artworks on display, and allows visitors the chance to explore their own relationship to the animals in their lives. Animals in the Museum will be on display from January 26th through April 28th, 2019.

Image credit: Anne Coe. American, b.1949. Suburban Ranchette: Utopian Bliss at the End of the Millennium, 1996. Acrylic on canvas. Museum Purchase: Friends of Art Acquisition Fund, 2004.8

Past Exhibitions


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225 West Second Street
Davenport, Iowa



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Thursday | 10am - 9pm

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