The Figge Art Museum is the premier art exhibition and education facility between Chicago and Des Moines. Its landmark glass building on the banks of the Mississippi, designed by British architect David Chipperfield, is home to one of the Midwest’s finest art collections, and hosts world-class traveling exhibitions. Its studios, auditorium and spacious lobby are alive with art classes, lectures and special events that attract visitors of all ages.
The Figge was formed as the Davenport Municipal Art Gallery in 1925, with the passage of a law allowing the city to accept of a gift of 330 artworks from a former mayor, Charles A. Ficke, and open a museum. It was renamed the Davenport Museum of Art in 1987. It continued to be a city-run museum until the opening of its new building in 2005, which was named in honor of a major gift from the V.O. and Elizabeth Kahl Figge Foundation. At that time, the city transferred responsibility for management, care and exhibition of its collection to the Figge Art Museum, a nonprofit organization. Mr. Ficke’s original collection of European, American and Spanish Viceregal art has grown through the efforts of generations of philanthropists and civic leaders and now includes the Grant Wood Archive and works by other American Regionalist artists, an extensive collection of Haitian art, and contemporary works. Also currently on view are masterworks from the University of Iowa Museum of Art, which was severely damaged by a flood in 2008. The Figge is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.