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The History Of Art At Iowa State University

908 words - 4 pages

Have you ever been to Iowa State University and seen all of the magnificent art that is located on campus? Iowa State is home to one of the largest campus public art collections in the United States. There are over 2,000 works of public art (George Washington Carver). The foundation of the contemporary Art on Campus Collection and Program began during the Depression in the 1930s, when Iowa State's President Hughes envisioned that, "The arts would
enrich and provide substantial intellectual exploration into our college curricula” (George Washington Carver). Who doesn’t love art? Every day you wake up and experience some sort of artwork; whether it’s a sculpture or just seeing something made so wonderful. Walking across the magnificent campus of Iowa State you see many pieces of art, but the one that stuck out to me was the George Washington Carver Sculpture. When first looking at it you won’t catch all of the small details behind his wonderful work. Once you know all the fine details Christian Petersen did when creating George Washington Carver and why he created it the way he did; you will enjoy it that much more.
Knowing information about the artist plays an important role in why some art was created in such an extraordinary way. Artist Christian Petersen practiced his art during a transitional stage in American sculpture when styles moved from heroic to realistic (George Washington Carver). In 1934, Iowa State President Raymond Hughes offered Petersen a one-semester residency to create the fountain and bas-reliefs in the Dairy Industry Building courtyard. Amazingly this one semester job turned into 21 years, and from 1934 to 1955 Petersen served as Iowa State's sculptor-in-residence (George Washington Carver). According to an article in Iowa State Museum, Petersen created 12 major public art sculptures on the Iowa State campus, including the Fountain of Four Seasons, The Gentle Doctor, Conversations, and of course the George Washington Carver sculpture (George Washington Carver).
Judging an artist or an artist work without knowing their intentions is something I believe happens too much. We live in a world where there is lots of judging and I believe people may not even give some art pieces a chance. In the 1940s, Christian Petersen sculpted a plaster figure of George Washington Carver. According to an article from Iowa State Museums, “This is one of the few free-standing, full length sculptures that Petersen ever made” (George Washington Carver). He sculpted Carver as an old man holding a single peanut in his hands. Petersen’s intentions were to emphasize Carver's vision for the future of agriculture...

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