As she slept, her story was passed from branch to branch, to root from root.
--Chuck Morris, The Storytelling Tree, 2019
A Quad-City favorite returns to the Figge Galleries this fall. Rose Frantzen’s renowned Portrait of Maquoketa will be on view in the Figge’s 3rd floor gallery. For this showing, Frantzen’s installation will be joined by a wonderful suite of illustrations for a new children’s book by artist and Rose’s partner Chuck Morris. Portrait of Maquoketa is a multi-panel artwork that includes 180 12x12" oil portraits of people from Maquoketa, Iowa, as well as a 315 square foot landscape view of Maquoketa painted on 34 vertical panels suspended from the ceiling. The panels are arranged in such a way that when a visitor sits at one end of the installation, all of the panels come together and align as one unified view of Maquoketa as seen from the hills outside of town. The other sides of the landscape panels display all 180 portraits.
Just as Portrait of Maquoketa reminds us of the importance of connecting family with community, The Storytelling Tree tells the story of a young girl’s special bond with her father, the owner of a small bookstore and writer of magical stories, through the power of words. Through his enchanting story and playfully surreal imagery, Morris’s reminds us of the boundless worlds we can experience through reading.
A special limited run first edition of The Storytelling Tree will be available through the Figge’s museum store.
Cal and Jill Werner