Voices from the Prairie A publication of Humanities Iowa • Summer 2014
Ahmed Moustafa Prints
The Brinton Collection
Works by Ahmed Moustafa
Voices from the Prairie Summer 2014
Voices from the Prairie Contents
Humanities Iowa Board of Directors & Staff
Humanities Iowa Mission Statement
3 Ahmed Moustafa Prints
president Rosemarie Ward, Okoboji
The mission of Humanities Iowa is to promote understanding and appreciation of the people, communities, cultures and stories of importance to Iowa and the nation.
5 Brinton Collection—Magic lantern picture show. 13 Grants Awarded in 2013 13 - 14 New Humanities Iowa Board Members 14 Statement of Activity 15 2013 Donors
Cover: Trilogy of Where The Two Oceans Meet. By Ahmed Moustafa, 2001. Follow Humanities Iowa like never before!
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vice-president Jeff Heland, Burlington secretary Mark Felderman, Ankeny treasurer Cindy McLaughlin, Sioux City past president Sue Cosner, Panora directors George Barlow, Grinnell Graciela Caneiro-Livingston, Dubuque Tom Dean, Iowa City Lynne George, Des Moines Kenneth Lyftgot, Cedar Falls Kurt Meyer, St. Ansgar Sam Mulgrew, Peosta Ric Nelson, Ames Sandra Norvell, Ames Sally Phelps, Spencer Marina Sandquist, Johnston Linda Shenk, Ames Steve Siegel, Ottumwa Larry Simons, Cedar Rapids Jack Wertzberger, Dubuque executive director Christopher R. Rossi: email@example.com grants & administration officer Tim Johnson: firstname.lastname@example.org director of development and finance Heather Plucar: email@example.com art director David Richmond: david.richmondsimpson. edu
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The three works of art by Dr. Ahmed Moustafa featured in this publication have been gifted to the Abdelkader Education Project, in Elkader Iowa, under the custodianship of the AEP Project Director, Kathy Garms, in May 2013. Dr. Ahmed Moustafa was born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1943 where he began his career as a painter in the representational tradition of European art. After moving to London in the 1970’s he turned his attention to the Islamic tradition. Living in a western culture environment stimulated him to develop what he calls a “visual vocabulary” commensurate with his own original culture. This “vocabulary” turned out to be Arabic letter shapes, which became the focus of his academic research and expression for his own artistic work. The former led to his doctoral thesis on the scientific foundations of the Arabic letter shapes. Ahmed Moustafa is an artist and scholar of international repute and now a leading authority on Arabic art and design. Initially trained as a figurative artist in the neoclassical European tradition, and drawing his inspiration primarily from Renaissance masters, he subsequently rediscovered his Islamic roots. Ahmed Moustafa has lived and worked in London since 1974 and directs the FeNoon Ahmed Moustafa Research Centre for Arab Art and Design, which he established in 1983. He has taught and lectured in many parts of the world, and is currently a visiting professor at the Prince of Wales’s Institute of Architecture, London,
Image: Frolicking Horses
Iris print / Size: 151 x 111.8cm / 59.5” x 44” (H x W) by Ahmed Moustafa, 1992.
the University of Westminster, London, and the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Alexandria, Egypt. In 1997, in recognition of his international renown in the field of Islamic art, and his special position as a British Muslim artist, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II presented a specially commissioned composition by Ahmed Moustafa entitled “Where The Two Oceans Meet” as a gift to Pakistan to mark the occasion of that nation’s 50th anniversary. This masterpiece of multi-layered Islamic calligraphy was presented by The Queen at an exhibition in the Pakistani Summer 2014 · 3
capital Islamabad, entitled “Traditions of Respect – Britain and Islamic Culture” and sponsored by the British Council. Collections of his work can be found in the Contemporary Islamic Collection of The British Museum; the Oriental Department, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; The Museum of Modern Arts, Alexandria, Egypt; The Musuem of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Alexandria; The Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana, The Vatican. Three of his prints were gifted to the Elkader Opera House following Humanities Iowa’s sponsorship of his lecture in honor of Elkader’s namesake, the Algerian national hero, Abd El Kadar. A poetic narrative in the form of a scriptorial palette (inspired by the opening Surah of the Quran) accompanies the image entitled The Essence of the Divine Writ / Ummal Kitab: Scriptorial palette (inspired by opening Surah of the Qur°än): In the name of God, the most Gracious, the Dispenser of Grace: (1) All praise is due to God alone, the Sustainer of all the worlds, (2) The Most Gracious, the Dispenser of Grace, (3) Lord of the Day of Judgment! (4) Thee alone do we worship; and unto Thee alone do we turn for aid. (5) Guide us the straight way (6) – the way of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings, not of those who have been condemned [by Thee], nor of those who go astray! (7) Qur°än - Surah Al-Fätiåah - Chapter 1 verses 1-7 4 · Voices from the Prairie
Image: The Essence of the Divine Writ / Ummul Kitab Silkscreen Print in 7 Colours / Size: 143cm x 114cm / 56” x 45” (H x W) By Ahmed Moustafa, 1996.
Next Page Top Image: Trilogy of Where The Two Oceans Meet Iris Print / Size: 111.8 x 138cm / 44” x 54.5 (H x W) By Ahmed Moustafa, 2001.
Bottom Left Image: Dr. Ahmed Moustafa
Photograph of Dr Ahmed Moustafa by Mark Brady
For more information about Dr. Ahmed Moustafa and his artwork please visit his website at www.fenoon.com
New Board Member: Jack Wertzberger
Jack Wertzberger (Dubuque), an institutional development specialist, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Humanities Iowa by Governor Terry Branstad. Jack served as a senior development coordinator for law colleges at Georgetown University, George Mason University and as an assistant to the Dean at the University of Iowa Law College. He formerly served as Vice President for Insitutional Advancement at Loras College and served as a senior advisor to Governor Chet Culver and on the staff of United States Senator John Culver. Jack has extensive non profit fundraising experience and currently serves on the boards of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra and the Dubuque Museum of Art. Summer 2014 · 5
Treasure Trove of Cinematic History Surfaces in Iowa Michael Zahs Interview
Humanities Iowa: What materials are part of the Brinton Collection?
American Companies at the time. Many of the catalogs survive in the collection. The movies are from Lubin, Edison, George Méliès and other producers.
Michael Zahs: The Brinton Collection contains personal and professional material originally belonging to Frank and Indiana Brinton of Washington, IA. Mr. Brinton traveled extensively and lectured about his world travels in opera houses and in the Chautauqua circuit in the upper Mid-West beginning in the 1880’s. He illustrated his lectures with costumes, artifacts, and magic lantern slides. Very early Mr. Brinton began showing the new innovation: movies. Hundreds of magic lantern slides and movies, dating to 1894, are part of the collection. Mr. Brinton also was an inventor and patent papers and original drawings are also preserved in the collection. Frank was particularly interested in heavier than air flight. Many photographs, catalogs, and records also survive.
Humanities Iowa: Has this material ever been shown to the public?
Humanities Iowa called me last summer with a story about a man in Washington County with a shed full of century-old film reels. Despite being Iowa filmmakers, we had never done a feature documentary here in Iowa, so we were excited by the potential for the story. That excitement turned to elation when we made our first visit to meet Mike Zahs and discovered his incredible collection of antiques and oddities, highlighted by the Brinton Collection. Mike has devoted a lifetime to bringing history alive, and we’re happy to bring those efforts to the big screen. Thanks to a mini grant from Humanities Iowa, we were able to assemble a fundraising trailer which led to an amazing $145,000 grant from the Washington County Riverboat Foundation. With this level of support, we know the film has a bright future. All this from one phone call 10 months ago.”
Humanities Iowa: How did this material survive? Michael Zahs: Mr. Brinton died in 1919 after not showing the slides or movies for several years. Mrs. Brinton died in 1955. The executor of her estate moved much Brinton material to his home—not the Egyptian mummy—where it remained until 1981. When the executor’s home was being cleaned out I was able to obtain the material before it was disposed of. Humanities Iowa: Did the Brinton’s produce the slides and movies they used in the shows? Michael Zahs: The Brinton’s purchased the projected images from the French and 6 · Voices from the Prairie
Andrew Sherburne Producer, Northland Films
Top Image: Filmmakers With Michael Zahs Middle Image: Magic Lantern Slide from the Brinton Collection Bottom Image: Magic Lantern Slide from the Brinton Collection Next Page Top Image: Magic Lantern Slide from the Brinton Collection Bottom Image: Magic Lantern Slide from the Brinton Collection
The board of directors at the Washington County Riverboat Foundation were excited to partner with Humanities Iowa on this remarkable preservation and education project. Several of the directors have seen Mike Zahs’ Brinton Film Festival at the tiny Ainsworth Opera House over the past 15 years. Helping to create the opportunity for many people around the world to see and understand the infancy of cinematography, and a cultural glimpse of the turn of the last century, made this one of the most popular projects we have funded. Ed Raber, Director Washington Economic Development Group
Michael Zahs: Until recently the only time the slides and movies were shown was at the Brinton Film Festival at the Ainsworth Opera House in Ainsworth, Iowa the last Friday and Saturday in July. The festival began about 15 years ago. The magic lantern slides project well and are shown using a 1913 projector. About 90 of the movies were copied by the American Film Institute in 1981. The original 35mm cellulose nitrate films were too fragile and dangerous for showing. They were copied onto 16mm film and can be shown. Sixteen more reels of original film is now being evaluated for copying. The Brintons originally appeared at the Ainsworth Opera House. So when the slides and movies are shown during the festival, they are being shown in the same space they were originally seen over 100 years ago. Humanities Iowa: Are any of the films familiar to audiences today? Michael Zahs: Probably not. The films date between 1894 and 1908 and are before most early films that are known today. Very few early films were archived, so most are not familiar today. Most early films were short by today’s standards. Those in the collection range from less than a minute to about ten minutes in length. All films in the collection are black and white, but hand colored films were available at thetime. Film topics range widely. Summer 2014 · 7
New Board Member: Kurtis L. Meyer
conference and for a second time at the Northern Great Plains History regional conference. Professionally, for more than three decades, Kurt has been a consultant to non-profit organizations, assisting them with strategic planning, community
relations, and fundraising. He is a graduate of Luther College, where he majored in History and Political Science; his graduate work in Public Administration was done at Penn State University in the 1980s. Kurt and his wife, Paula, have three adult children.
Top Image: Flying machine created by Frank Brinton Middle image: Still of Captive Flying Machine Bottom image: Magic Lantern Slide from the Brinton Collection image: Like author Hamlin Garland, Kurt Meyer spent his boyhood years in Mitchell County, Iowa, where he now lives, the sixth generation of his family to do so. He serves as President of the Mitchell County Historical Society and as a board member of the Mitchell County Environmental Education Foundation, the Mitchell County Historical Preservation Association, the Iowa Barn Foundation, and of Bethany College (Kansas), where he chairs the Advancement Committee. He also chairs the Advocacy Committee of the Iowa Museum Association. Kurt is a dedicated amateur historian, having delivered papers to historical and scholarly organizations in eight states. In addition to dozens of presentations to local community and service organizations, he has presented three times at the national conference of the American Literature Association (ALA) focused on Garland’s Iowa years, chaired the Garland ALA panel in 2007, and served as President of the Hamlin Garland Society, 2007-2008. This fall, he will present for a third time at the Iowa Museum Association statewide 8 · Voices from the Prairie
Goat Heard From Still
Michael Zahs: The Brintons were based in Washington, Iowa where they managed the Graham Opera House. The Graham is now the State Theater and has shown movies since 1894. The records in the collection show that the Brintons traveled throughout the upper Midwest. They did programs in opera houses, town halls, churches, Chautauqua tents, and on sides of buildings. They were very popular and often returned to the same area for many years. Mr. Brinton would sometimes show and maybe fly models of his flying machines during some programs. Humanities Iowa: What is being done with the Brinton Collection? Michael Zahs: Plans are being made to restore and preserve the material. Hopefully the material can again be shown in the area the Brintons originally entertained.
Zahs interview cont. Travel and circus films were popular. Films by Méliès were often based on magic. News events were filmed or dramatized. A number of film companies would often make similar films on the same topics. Most of the films in the collection (and many of the slides also) appear to be the only copy of the films known to exist. Humanities Iowa: What are magic lantern slides? Michael Zahs: Magic lantern slides pre-date movies by many years. They were images, often hand colored, on glass slides several inches square. The images were projected using kerosene “lanterns”. One of the Brintons’ projectors used acetylene. Lime light sometimes was also used. Images on slides are of course still, but several slides in the collection give the illusion of movement. This is done mechanically or by using a dissolving projector. Some slides have images or several layers of glass that are pulled over each other to give the illusion of movement. There are several sets of song slides in the Brinton material. Song slides projected illustrations of songs of the time, sort of the 1890 version of a music video today.
“The Brinton Collection is a fascinating gathering of material with great relevance to the history of film, which would be enough to make it a notable collection. However, the presence of the business records, travel logs, and ephemeral materials such as catalogs and tickets, also makes this collection an excellent source for studying the social history of turn-of-the-twentieth century Iowa. There is much to be discovered here, and this is a wonderful opportunity to make this collection available to the public.” Greg Prickman Head, Special Collections & University Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries
Humanities Iowa: Where were the Brintons based? Summer 2014 · 9
The Brinton Collection
spent over ten years at a Hollywood photochemical laboratory, and preserved titles from several major motion pictures.
Top Left Image: Frank Brinton Left Image: Stereo Projector Illustration Below Left Image: Organ and Stereo Projector Photo
Bottom Left: Film Catalogue Top Right Image: Indiana Brinton Below Right Image: Frank Brinton’s
Lantern Show Ticket
Bottom Right Image: Envelope
The Media Preserve The MediaPreserve was founded in 2006 as an audiovisual laboratory designed for the digital age. It was built specifically to meet the needs of clients with complex audio, video and film collections. Where some paper collections may have survived several hundred years, many obsolete audio, video and film formats are unable to be played after fewer than 20 years. In response to this overwhelming demand for audio, video and film services, The MediaPreserve was conceptualized. Engineers at The MediaPreserve digitized 10 · Voices from the Prairie
the roughly twenty films that make up the Michael Zahs’ Brinton silent film collection. The engineers who worked on the Brinton films both come from long careers in the film industry. Diana Littl, the head of Film Production, graduated from the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation at George Eastman House, and spent nine years at the New York City-based film laboratory, Cineric, where she oversaw preservation projects of all types and scopes for universities, museums, archives and Hollywood studios. David Cetra, who was responsible for prepping each film,
Top Image: The Brinton Collection Magic Lantern Slides, “Welcome.”
Bottom Left Image: Magic Lantern Slide from the Brinton Collection
Bottom Right Image: Magic
Lantern Slide from the Brinton Collection
All film assets from the Brinton collection were visually inspected upon arrival. Every film was assessed for symptoms of deterioration and biological contamination (mold) as well as physical damage including shrinkage and weak splices. In the case of the Brinton films, each reel was so delicate that they all required extensive preparation before being put on a film scanner. After the films were prepped, they were scanned frame by frame at high resolution. The Brinton films were so deteriorated that they would easily stick to themselves or break apart if they were handled incorrectly. Consequently, the films were carefully monitored during the digitization process: due to their delicate state, each transfer took hours to complete. According to Ms. Little, “the films in this collection are extremely rare, and I’m almost certain that they are unique. It is an often-quoted statistic that only 20% of silent-era films survive today, so it follows that films from the earliest years of the 20th century would survive in much smaller numbers. These films appear to all be “actuality” footage, and I suspect that they are over 100 years old. One of the films has edge markings reading “Pathe Freres Paris 1905”. Though the other films lack any such markings, they appear to be of a similar vintage.” By Hannah Rosen Preservation Program Specialist at Preservation Technologies, L.P.
Summer 2014 · 11
Grants Awarded 2013
New Board Member: Lynne Geoge
be found at the Des Moines Performing Arts Civic Center where they are part of the Guest Services Department as well as members. Lynne is active in the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines church with a special interest in social justice
New Board Member: Sandra Norvell
Iowa State University — $7,000 bellevue
Bellevue War Mural—$525 boone
Iowa Railroad Historical Society—$3,000
New Board Member: Richard S. Nelson
( ny ) New York Foundation for the Arts—$9,560 brooklyn
NAACP Burlington—$2,000 Lynne George, RN, BSN of Ankeny Iowa is a triage nurse with Unity Point Internal Medicine Clinic in Des Moines. Prior to her current position Lynne has worked in home care nursing and was the Director of Student Health Service at Grand View College for over 23 years. In that role she coordinated the health and wellness activities for the college. She served on the North Central College Health Association Board. Lynne graduated from the Freeport Memorial Hospital School of Nursing and earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Lynne has been active in the Iowa Nurses Association and Sigma Theta Tau. Lynne grew up on a farm in Northwest Illinois where she was active in 4-H. She is married to Kerry George and has two grown children Christopher and Jessica. Lynne has served on advisory committees for the Ankeny School district and was active in bond issues to build a pool and add schools to the Ankeny District. Lynne and Kerry can frequently 12 · Voices from the Prairie
Richard S. Nelson is a CFP Investment Representative. Nelson joined First National Bank in 2001 when it introduced First National Investment Services. He continues to provide a variety of financial planning services as well as investment expertise to the Trust Department’s Investment Committee. Prior to joining First National, Nelson was a Financial Consultant with Merrill Lynch for five years. He is a graduate of Iowa State University with a B.S. in Finance. He obtained his, “ Certified Financial Planner,” certification in 2012. Nelson also serves the Ames community as a member of Toastmasters’ International, Ames Rotary, ARC of Story County and the Octagon Endowment Committee.
Sandra Norvell coordinates the grants office within the Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities at Iowa State University. Her current duties include assisting arts, humanities and design faculty as they pursue research funding and the coordination of special projects related to those disciplines on campus. Prior to this, she was involved in the American handcraft retail industry for almost 20 years and was responsible for the creation of training materials, signage, new store set-ups and openings, and a monthly visiting artist series. She received her interdisciplinary BA from Hampshire College combining her interests in architecture, arts history and anthropology and her MA from SUNY Buffalo in archaeology where she specialized in ceramic studies and iconography of Mesoamerica and the American southwest.
University of Northern Iowa— $10,000 cedar r apids
The Carl & Mary Kohler History Center—$3,000 centerville
Appanoose County Historical Society—$2,000 davenport
Storytellers International—$8,027 River Action, Inc.—$1,000 The German American Heritage Center—$1,500 cor alville
Sudanese American Community Services— $300
State Historical Society of Iowa— $5,000 Des Moines Public Library—$5,000 Drake University—$9,100 Downtown Events Group—$5,000 Des Moines Social Club—$4,940 Edmundson Art Foundation—$1,500 dubuque
National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium—$10,000 Clarke University—$1,700 dyersville
James Kennedy Public Library — $1,560 elk horn
Danish Immigrant Museum — $5,000 elk ader
Opera House Players—$2,500 estherville
Iowa Lakes Community College—$500
Henry County Conservation—$300 muscatine
Muscatine Art Center—$2,922 Diversity Service Center of Iowa— $500 ( il ) CommUniversity—$2,000 rock island
sac cit y
Sac County Conservation Board—$300 sioux cit y
Celebrating Community Foundation—$10,000 Western Iowa Tech Community College—$1,500 Siouxland Historical Railroad Association—$1,000 storm lake
Buena Vista University—$9,840 ( ks ) Kansas Public Telecommunication—$9,362 wichita
iowa cit y
University of Iowa—$2,100 Digital Studio for the Public Arts & Humanities—$500 The James Gang—$3,000 marshalltown
Marshalltown Public Library—$500
Summer 2014 · 13
Statement of Activity for the year ended October 31, 2013
New Board Member: Larry Simons
re ve nues ge ne r al fund trust fund NEH & private grants 536,999 Program income 20,881 Gifts & membership 20,257 Dividends & interest 13,487 Realized & unrealized gain on investments 111,327 Miscellaneous income (Permanently Restricted) 989
0 0 0 0
536,999 20,881 20,257 13,487
0 111,327 0 989
Total Revenues 703,940 0 703,940 Larry Simons has lived in Eastern Iowa his entire life. He grew up in Bellevue functional e xpe nses then went on to attend Wartburg College Program Services 462,241 0 462,241 in Waverly. After graduating in 1981 with Management & general 89,343 0 89,343 a BA in Secondary Business Education Fundraising, newsletter 9,714 0 9,714 and Psychology, he started his teaching career in Central City. During his six Total Functional Expenses 561,298 0 561,298 years there, he earned an MA in 1985 from Northeast Missouri State University (now Increase in Net Assets for the Year 142,642 Net Assets—Beginning of Year 604,840 Truman State University) in Kirksville, MO. with a degree in Secondary School Net Assets—End of Year 747,482 Counseling. He spent his final year in Central City as a K-12 Counselor then started his career with the Cedar Rapids Community School District in 1987. Larry is currently in his 27th year with Cedar Rapids School District, the last 18 as a counselor at Washington High School. He also teaches Driver Education for Kirkwood Community College. Larry has been an EMT and volunteered his service as a fireman and an ambulance attendant while in Central City. He also served several years as a member of the School Board Advisory Committee for the 36% gr ants 360,773 Mt. Vernon Community School District. 7% council conducted projects 101,468 For the past several years, he has been the 55% cost sharing 805,499 faculty advisor for a Student Rotary Group 7% progr am services 101,468 (Interact) at Washington High School and 6% management, gener al , & depreciation 89,343 has enjoyed assisting students volunteer 1% fundr aising 9,714 their service to others. Larry is married and has three children. 14 · Voices from the Prairie
Ed and Ethel Barker George Barlow VM Bauer Martha Bell William Blackburn Thomas Boyd Willard (Bill) Boyd III Willard (Sandy) and Susan Boyd Margaret Brennan Steve Brower Jean Brown Richard Burton Graciela Caneiro-Livingston DNE Caplan Family Foundation Harry and Jeannette Carter Priscilla Coffman Sue Cosner Thomas Dean Deerfield Retirement Community Frances DeJong Judy Dietrich James Doorley Barb and Ron Eckhoff Susan Enzle and Nathan Savin James Erb Mark Felderman The Lifespace Foundation William Friedricks Rebecca Fritzsche Susan Frye Nancy A Garretson Elizabeth Garst Roswell & Elizabeth Garst Foundation Mary Garst Lynne George Helen Goldstein Carol Gronstal Kate Gronstal Robert Groves
Wilfred Groves William Hamm Ms. Voanne Hansen James Hayes Pam Hazell Jeff and Cindy Heland Richard or Helen Hernnstadt John and Jan Hess Beverly Hinds Marsha Hucke Independence Federated Garden Club Iowa History Center Lee or Nancy Jarvis DE or SM Johnson Tim Johnson Martin or Maryann Kelly Margaret Kiekhaefer Cheryl Krewer Maurice Lee Dwight Lehman Randall Lengeling Sherry or Henry Lippert Betty Lippincott Helen Lockwood Marcia or Cedric Lofdahl Jean Logan Alma Long Sherman Lundy Tom Lynner Esther Mackintosh Mary Markwalter Cindy McLaughlin John Menninger Helen and Wayne Moyer Sam Mulgrew Neil Nakadate Roger Natte Harland Nelson Steven Noah
Mary Noble Carrie Z. Norton Sandra Norvell Russell Noyes Barb O’Hea Armond or Polly Pagliai Dale Patrick Dr. Bill and Sally Phelps David Plath Chris and Heather Plucar Alta Price Richard Ramsay Mrs. Robert Reed Larry Render Sister Marilyn Reyes Mark or Janet Rosenbury Christopher Rossi Gerard and Carolyn Rushton Marina Sandquist Robert Sayre Ronald Schechtman Robert or Anna Mae Schnucker Linda Shenk William Sherman Steve Siegel Cynthia Smith P.J. Smith Eldon and Mary Snyder Larry Stone John and Sue Strauss Dr. Richard Thomas University of Iowa Libraries Fiona Valentine Rhoda Vernon Voices Productions Rosemarie Ward Janet Winslow Donald Young Zora Zimmerman Summer 2014 · 15
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Gallery showing of photographs from David Plowden’s Iowa Blanden Memorial Art Museum, Fort Dodge August 30, 2014 – December 31, 2014