Seen and Heard: The Art of Empowerment Opening Virtually at the Figge Art Museum
May 8, 2020


Seen and Heard: The Art of Empowerment Opening

Virtually at the Figge Art Museum

Davenport, Iowa (May 8, 2020) – On the heels of the Figge Art Museum’s first virtual exhibition comes a second virtual exhibition. Seen and Heard: The Art of Empowerment will open virtually at on Saturday.

Installed in the Figge Art Museum’s second-floor orientation gallery, Seen and Heard: The Art of Empowerment will be available for online viewing. 

This exhibition, drawn from the Figge Art Museum’s collection, features 13 women artists, including Marisol, Grace Hartigan, Louise Nevelson, Lee Krasner, and Alison Saar, who asserted their artistic empowerment despite social and cultural barriers. In addition to empowering themselves, several of the artists on view give voice and visibility to the marginalized through their work.   

The featured artists have created innovative and significant bodies of work. They tenaciously pursued artmaking for decades, determinedly brought their creative visions to life and forged innovative methods and techniques. One such artist was Louise Nevelson —a creative force who went decades before receiving recognition. An outstanding example of her wall assemblages, Moon Zag III (1984), is on display.  A number of the artists also created work concerning women’s experiences, establishing that it was a subject deserving visibility and recognition. Other artists created work that brought attention to societal injustices and traditionally marginalized groups, such as Carrie Mae Weems who probes the racial, social, and, cultural inequities in art history through her work, Not Manet’s Type (2001). Whether pursuing individual or communal agency, the artists featured here have contributed to a more inclusive environment in the art world and beyond. 

While opportunities and representation for women have improved, there is still gender disparity in the art world.  According to a 2018 study by cultural economist Clare McAndrew, only a third of solo exhibitions in museums and galleries feature women artists while major museums demonstrate even lower figures; the Figge is working to change those numbers.

Figge Assistant Curator Vanessa Sage says, “We are proud to present these dynamic artworks from the museum collection, including several recent acquisitions. While issues of inequality and representation remain prevalent in the art world, the Figge is dedicated to better representing the world in which we live and the artists who are an essential part of it.”

The Figge’s second-floor orientation gallery will be installed with work by women artists until at least May 2021.

Companion Programming:
Date TBD:
Vanessa Sage (the exhibition curator) will give a gallery talk focusing on several artists included in the exhibition. The talk will highlight their path to becoming renowned artists, as well as their personal viewpoints on their role in the art world and in society.

About the Figge Art Museum:
The Figge Art Museum is dedicated to bringing art and people together. Located on the Mississippi River in downtown Davenport at 225 West Second Street, the Figge is the premier art exhibition and education facility between Chicago and Des Moines. Its landmark glass building, designed by British architect David Chipperfield, is home to one of the Midwest’s finest art collections and hosts world-class traveling exhibitions, art classes, lectures, and special events that attract visitors of all ages. The museum is temporarily closed due to COVID-19. Normal hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. On Thursdays, the museum is open until 9 p.m. Admission to the museum and tour is $10 for adults, $6 for seniors and students with ID and $4 children ages 4–12. Admission is free to Figge members and institutional members and always free to all on Thursday evenings from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Figge Café is currently closed but is typically open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday–Friday.


Orientation Gallery
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225 West Second Street
Davenport, Iowa



Museum | 563.326.7804

Cafe | 563.345.6647



Monday | Closed

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Monday - Sunday Closed

*The Figge Cafe is closed until further notice

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