DES MOINES, IOWA (September 2012) – At the passing last year of long-time Des Moines philanthropist and attorney Elizabeth Kruidenier, the Des Moines Art Center has been bequeathed 76 extraordinary works of art. Kruidenier was married to David Kruidenier, publisher and philanthropist, who died in 2006. Works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Alexander Calder, and Andy Warhol are just a few of the treasures given to the Art Center. Many of these works will be on display throughout the Art Center galleries in the near future. According to Jeff Fleming, director of the Art Center, “Often it takes just one person with vision and a demand for excellence to rally a group of individuals behind him or her and to make wonderful things happen. David and Liz were these individuals. I see their insistence on quality everyday at the Art Center – in its architecture, in its collections, and in its collecting philosophy. We acknowledge David and Liz for this extraordinary bequest of artwork and for helping to create this culture of excellence.”
Des Moines Art Center
Recognized by international art critics as a world-class museum in the heart of the Midwest, the Des Moines Art Center has amassed an important collection with a major emphasis on contemporary art. The collection’s overriding principle is a representation of artists from the nineteenth century to the present, each through a seminal work. This accounts for an impressive collection that ranges from Edward Hopper’s Automat to Jasper Johns’ Tennyson, Henri Matisse’s Woman in White, Georgia O’Keeffe’s From the Lake No. 1, Francis Bacon’s Study after Velásquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, Bill Viola’s Ascension, and Cecily Brown’s Half-Bind.
The Art Center’s physical complex marries with the collection for a totally integrated experience. The collection is housed in three major buildings, each designed by a world-renowned architect – Eliel Saarinen, I. M. Pei, and Richard Meier. With the exception of special events, admission to the museum is free.
In September 2009, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park opened inDes Moines’ Western Gateway Park. Philanthropists John and Mary Pappajohn have provided funding for and donated 27 sculptures by internationally acclaimed contemporary artists to the Des Moines Art Center. The collection of sculptures by such artists as Louise Bourgeois, Deborah Butterfield, Keith Haring, Ellsworth Kelly, Willem de Kooning, Jaume Plensa, Richard Serra, Joel Shapiro, and Mark di Suvero, is the most significant donation of artwork to the Art Center in a single gift in the museum’s history. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park is a collaboration of the Pappajohns, the City of Des Moines, the Des Moines Art Center, and numerous corporate and private donors.