Learn about past temporary exhibits at the African American Museum of Iowa. Some past exhibits have inspired traveling exhibits, which are available for display at locations across the state.
Iowa in Ghana: Dr. D. Michael Warren and the Bono of Takyiman (2005)
The exhibit was based on the work of Dr. D. Michael Warren, a professor of anthropology at Iowa State University from 1972 to 1997. Warren began working among the Bono (an Akan speaking group in central Ghana) in 1964 as a Peace Corps science teacher. In 1972 he was awarded a PhD in anthropology from Indiana University for his dissertation on Bono religion and medicine. Over the next three decades, he became deeply involved in documenting aspects of Bono indigenous knowledge and promoting the economic development of the Takyiman Traditional Area. After Warrens’s death in 1997, his research collection was donated to the University of Iowa Libraries by his widow, Mary, and his daughter, Medina. More than 100 images from this collection were displayed in the exhibit.
Bronzeville to Harlem (2005)
This exhibit told the tale of the Harlem Renaissance in two parts. The first part, a large bronze sculpture by Illinois artist Preston Jackson, focused on Chicago’s black neighborhood known as Bronzeville. The second part of the exhibit featured 30 photos of prominent figures of the Harlem Renaissance taken by Cedar Rapids photographer, writer, and critic Carl Van Vechten on loan from Cedar Rapids Community Schools.
Facing the Cradle (2004)
The exhibit featured the work of Cedar Rapids artist Jeni Reeves. Through paintings, photos, and text from her journal, the exhibit explored how living in Africa from 1983 to 1986 changed Reeves’ art. After moving to Cedar Rapids in the 1990s, Reeves became an illustrator of children’s books, many of which have African American historical themes and include biographies of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington.
Africa — Myth, Magic, and Reality (2004)
This temporary exhibit featured paintings and etchings based on Professor Betty LaDuke’s visits to 14 African nations. Art by Cedar Rapids elementary school students were displayed alongside LaDuke’s works.
Youth in Photography (2003)
Life in Iowa’s black communities was vividly captured on film by students from Grant Wood and Johnson elementary schools (Cedar Rapids), Waterloo West High School (Waterloo), and “Kids Zone” (Keokuk).