Seven Midwest Museum Gems Not to Miss

Nestled in the rolling hills and expansive cornfields of Iowa sits the Des Moines Art Center, an impressive architectural collaboration between three of the greatest architects of the 20th century, Eliel Saarinen, I. M. Pei and Richard Meier.

Inside the building, an equally distinguished collection of permanent art and rotating exhibitions fills the galleries. 

For 15 years, Laura Burkhalter has been a member of the art center’s curatorial department, and has been responsible for bringing in exhibitions such as Surface Value ( where artists pushed the boundaries of painting to explore themes of American life and lifestyle) and Transparencies (a show from international artists exploring glass as a medium and subject matter).

Most recently, Burkhalter coordinated the traveling exhibition of work by internationally known artist El Anatsui at Des Moines Art Center (the show was organized by the Akron Museum of Art in Ohio). His bottle cap tapestries will grace the museum’s walls through Feb. 9.

This week, Burkhalter takes us on a tour of the Midwest, showing us her seven favorite spots to gawk at paintings and appreciate contemporary art. Check back each day as she shares a new must-see museum or gallery, and visit Burkhalter’s Modern Midwest Pinterest page for bonus pins that give you a glimpse of the art within those walls.