Many of the works the Figge Art Museum has collected over the past few years provide insight into modern American life from various points of view.

Beginning Saturday, New American Scene: Recent Acquisitions to the Figge Collection will be displayed on the second-floor Gildehaus Gallery, examining some of these modern perspectives on American life with 15 featured works that have been added to the museum’s collection in the last five years.

The “American Scene” is a term applied predominantly to representational paintings made in the first half of the 20th century that captured American subject matter. This term was applied to artists including Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton who focused on agricultural life in the nation’s heartland and also artists like Edward Hopper and Martin Lewis who portrayed scenes of modern city life.

Most of the artists of this era were Caucasian heterosexual and male, and their works demonstrate this specific viewpoint, according to a Figge release.

Adolph Rosenblatt, American, 1933-2017, Imperial Motors, 1979, Painted clay. Gift of the Adolph Rosenblatt Family and Kohler Foundation Inc., 2018.

In New American Scene, the works on view have many of the same American Scene subjects and themes, but are interpreted by a more diverse group of modern and contemporary artists who work with a broader range of materials. Many of the works depict a nation that is more urban, interconnected and diverse while drawing attention to issues of racial inequality, poverty, gentrification, gang violence and environmental destruction.

The artists in New American Scene include Paul D’Amato, Michelangelo Lovelace, John Ahearn, Larry Silver, Mark Messersmith, Adolf Rosenblatt, Rose Frantzen, Jefferson Pinder, Teska Overbeeke, Richard Estes and Frank Paulin.

These artists’ portrayal of American life is more critical than many of the artists traditionally associated with the American Scene, while also celebrating the communities in which they live, the museum said. Their works demonstrate how broader perspectives provide a more diverse view of American life and its continued progression.

New American Scene is sponsored by Sue Quail and Dr. Rob and Mindy Harson and will be on view through Jan. 24, 2021.

Companion Programming:

Virtual Family Day – Your Way!

October 10-24

Free Family Days have gone virtual! Join us online for a family-flexible virtual experience. Your free registration grants your family a 2-week access to a virtual line-up, which means you can choose your day to play. Family activity packs also available with registration. Sign up at www.figgeartmuseum.org.

 Virtual Curator Talk: Joshua Johnson

6:30 p.m. Thursday, November 19

Figge Assistant Registrar Joshua Johnson will introduce the exhibition New American Scene: Recent Acquisitions to the Figge Collection, during this exciting program. The exhibition will be on view at the Figge through January 3, 2021. This online program is free but advanced registration is required. After registering you will receive an e-mail two hours before the program begins, which will include a Zoom link to join the program at the scheduled time that evening.

 Located along the river in downtown Davenport 225 W. 2nd 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.

Museum hours are 10 a.m.­­-5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Thursdays; and 12-5 p.m. on Sundays. Reservations are strongly encouraged and can be made at www.figgeartmuseum.org or by calling 563-345-6632. Reservation times are available at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. or 3 p.m. on Tuesday-Saturday.

On Thursdays, there is also a 5:30 p.m. slot available for all. The 10 a.m. reservation period Tuesday-Friday will be reserved for those who are high-risk visitors. Admission to the museum 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 to all on Thursday evenings. The Figge Café is open for lunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

To contact the museum, call 563-326-7804, or visit www.figgeartmuseum.org.

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Jonathan Turner has been covering the Quad-Cities arts scene for 25 years, first as a reporter with the Dispatch and Rock Island Argus, and then as a reporter with the Quad City Times. Jonathan is also an accomplished actor and musician who has been seen frequently on local theater stages, including the Bucktown Revue and Black Box Theatre.