The Faulconer Gallery presents exhibitions of regional, national, and international artists throughout the year in 7,420 square feet of state-of-the-art exhibition space at the heart of the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts. Exhibitions in the Print and Drawing Study Room and Burling Gallery, located on the lower level of Burling Library, focus on objects in the Grinnell College Art Collection as well as objects directly related to Grinnell College classes during the spring and fall semesters. Click on the links below for exhibitions current, future, and past, as well as student-curated exhibitions resulting from Mentored Advanced Projects (MAPs) and the Gallery's triennial Exhibition Seminar.

Current Exhibitions

Gordon Parks: The Making of an Argument

January 23–March 15, 2015

Gordon Parks was born into poverty and segregation in Fort Scott, Kansas, in 1912. An itinerant laborer, he worked as a brothel pianist and railcar porter, among other jobs, before buying a camera at a pawnshop, training himself, and becoming a photographer. In addition to his tenures photographing for the Farm Security Administration (1941-1945) and Life Magazine (1948-1972), Parks also found success as a film director, writer and composer. This exhibition explores Gordon Parks' first photographic essay for Life Magazine in 1948, "Harlem Gang Leader." After gaining the trust of one particular group of gang members and their leader, Leonard "Red" Jackson, Parks produced a series of photographs that are artful, poignant, and, at times, shocking. From this large body of work (Parks made hundreds of negatives) the editors at Life selected 21 pictures to print in the magazine, often cropping or enhancing details in the pictures. The exhibition, featuring vintage photographs, original issues of Life Magazine, contact sheets and proof prints, traces this editorial process and parses out the various voices and motives behind the production of the picture essay, raising important questions about photography as a documentary tool and a narrative device, its role in addressing social concerns, and its function in the world of publishing.

Gordon Parks: The Making of an Argument was organized by Russell Lord, Freeman Family Curator of Photographs at the New Orleans Museum of Art, in collaboration with The Gordon Parks Foundation.

Playing it Forward: German Expressionism to Expressionism Today

January 23 – March 15, 2015

In 2001, The Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College, acquired more than 70 German Expressionist prints from the collection of John L. and Roslyn Bakst Goldman of Rochester, NY. Since then, the Goldmans have formed a new collection of prints by international contemporary artists. This exhibition will feature both collections side-by-side, demonstrating the Goldmans’ continued interests in cutting-edge printmaking and their fidelity to Expressionist ideals, including a wide variety of printing processes, masterful technique, and challenging subject matter.

The Education Project Photo Exhibition

January 26 – March 15, 2015
Burling Gallery

Photographer Sandra Steinbrecher creates a documentary portrait of three Chicago high schools facing profound challenges. While embedded in Harper, Fenger and Marshall high schools, she recorded the struggles and triumphs of daily life in these schools. Her project includes images and stories of students and teachers, as well as journalists, activists and politicians and captures their energy and commitment. The exhibition provides a visual record of what it means to be a student in an urban school today, and is presented in conjunction with the Careers in Education program, and a Rosenfield Symposium on reform in Chicago

Upcoming Exhibitions

Against Reason: Enlightenment Printmaking by Callot, Hogarth, Piranesi and Goya

April 3 – August 2, 2015
Curated by students in the exhibition seminar

Against Reason explores the darker side of the Enlightenment by asking, among other things, what are the dangers of secularism, nationalism, and a scientific method that dismisses rather than exalts the qualities that make us both human and humane. This pan-European exhibition includes works by Jacques Callot, William Hogarth, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, and Francisco Goya. The exhibition was curated by students Elizabeth Allen ‘16, Timothy McCall ‘15, Mai Pham ‘16, Maria Shevelkina ‘15, Dana Sly ‘15, Hannah Storch ‘16, and Emma Vale ‘15, who wrote the catalogue during the exhibition seminar (Fall 2014), under the direction of J. Vanessa Lyon, assistant professor of Art History.

Bachelor of Arts Exhibition (BAX)

April 10 – May 3, 2015

Bachelor of Arts Exhibition (BAX) features work by third and fourth-year art students – both majors and students in other majors who work intensively in studio. Students coordinate the exhibition with support from the Faulconer staff: from the submission of proposals, to the selection of a juror, to the installation and awarding of prizes.

Open to Interpretation

May 15 – August 2, 2015
Curated by Tilly Woodward, Curator of Academic and Community Outreach, and Lesley Wright, Director

The Faulconer Gallery collection is filled with intriguing and curious works of art, which can be enjoyed or interpreted in many different ways. This summer exhibition brings together a range of works and asks visitors to provide comments and captions, selections of which will be shared for others to enjoy and ponder.

Past Exhibitions

Past exhibitions are listed in order for each academic year, beginning with the summer exhibition(s) prior to the fall semester of each year and continuing through the spring semester. Purchase an exhibition catalog


Dark Commander: The Art of John Scott; War and Peace Project; Edward Burtynsky: Water


Quiet SmilesComplex Conversations: Wilie Cole Sculptures and Wall WorksBetween These Pages: Collective Memories In Art; Journeys of Wonder: From Curiosity to InsightBAX: Bachelor of Arts ExhibitionScott Hocking; Quality Uncertainty: The Market for Lemons; Jill Davis Schrift: Works in ClayStocked: Contemporary Art from the Grocery AislesFrom Wunderkammer to the Modern Museum, 1606-1884Decay: The Ephemeral Body in Art


PORTFOLIO: Artists Work in SeriesCivil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection;Constructing NatureBreachwe're all in this togetherRobert Polidori: Selected Works; Animals Among UsBachelor of Arts Exhibition (BAX) 2013Scott Hudson: Wild Horses; Margaret Whiting: Environmental Concerns; Lorna Bieber: From a Distance


Liz Steketee: Family AlbumWalter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin in IowaFrom the Book Forest: Commercial Publishing in Late Imperial ChinaChinese Propaganda Posters, 1949-1979Bare Bones: Art as Social SatireSandow Birk's American Qur'anStudent Art Salon 2012There's Something Happening Here;Jenny Holzer's Inflammatory Essays1966 Yearbook ProjectStudent Art Salon 2012


Bryan Drury: FeastHarry Shearer: Silent Echo ChamberMichael Van den Besselaar: Unconscious OpticsMark Wagner: Face ValueSandow Birk: American Qur'anLaughing Matters: Soviet Propaganda in Khrushchev's Thaw, 1956-1964Culturing Community: Projects About PlaceKind Favor, Kind Letter: Kate Carr, Tatiana Ginsberg, Lee Emma RunningOf Fables and Folly: Diane Victor, Recent WorkAr(t)chive: American Art in Historical Context, 1930-1990Women in ConflictStudent Art Salon 2011

Student Curated Exhibitions

One of the features of the Faulconer Gallery's exhibition program is its support of student-curated exhibitions that are the fulfillment of Mentored Advanced Projects (MAPs), internships at the Faulconer Gallery, or the Exhibition Seminar, a combined course and exhibition directed by faculty members of the Department of Art in partnership with the Faulconer Gallery. The Seminar's purpose is to support students in the organization of an exhibition from the College's permanent collection based on subject matter, criteria, and objects selected entirely by the student participants. They set the exhibition checklist, supervise the design and installation, and write essays about their selected works that are compiled in a professionally designed and illustrated exhibition catalog published by the Faulconer Gallery. Follow the links below to see past student-curated exhibitions, and visit our publications page to find catalogs available for purchase.

Exhibitions of the Exhibition Seminar Directed by the Department of Art in Partnership with Faulconer Gallery

Ghost Dance: Exhibiting Paradox: Edward S. Curtis Photogravures in the Grinnell College Art Collection

Giovanni Battista Piranesi: Grandeur and Fantasy: Visions and Views of Rome

I saw it: The Invented Reality of Francisco Goya's Disasters of War

Repeat, Reveal, React: Identities in Flux

Walking a Tightrope: German Expressionist Printmaking, 1904-1928

Museum Studies Class Exhibitions

Ar(t)chive: American Art in Historical Context, 1930-1990

Mentored Advanced Project (MAP) Exhibitions

Adelita: Enrique Chagoya's Recast Heroine

Jolán Gross-Bettelheim: The American Modernist

Seri Ironwood Carvings

Walter Sickert's Narrative Modernism

Faulconer Gallery Interns' Exhibitions

Bare Bones: Art as Social Satire

Holzer's Inflammatory Essays: Exploring Agency and Cultural Spaces


Stories and Histories

Women in Conflict

Young Pioneers: Lithographs from the Johnson-Horrigan Collection