Gallery installation view of the William Villalongo exhibition.


A Space for Powerful and Thought-Provoking Art Experiences

The Grinnell College Museum of Art presents exhibitions of regional, national, and international artists throughout the year in the Faulconer Gallery, a 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.

Currently on view

  • Sculpture by Kay Sniff, "It spoke by itself.", composed of steel and automotive parts.

    April 18–May 20, 2024


    The Bachelor of Art Exhibition presents work in the creative arts by third- and fourth-year Grinnell College students. With support from GCMoA staff, students manage many of the exhibition details, including the selection of a juror and the creation of an exhibition catalogue and website. The exhibition includes photographs, drawings, sculpture, paintings, video, installations, and works created digitally. The 2024 juror is Luther Davis ’93, master printer and printshop director of Powerhouse Arts, Brooklyn, New York.

    Image: Installation view of BAX 2023

  • An image of a crowd in which one figure reaches up a hand to grab a cup of water from a man handing it down from a vehicle

    Jan. 25 – May 20, 2024

    not one without water

    This exhibition, featuring works drawn from the Grinnell College Museum of Art’s permanent collection, takes its title from W.H. Auden’s poem, “First Things First,” in which water, fittingly, is the last word. Water’s paradoxical nature — life-sustaining and life-threatening, powerful and fragile, abundant and scarce, endangering and endangered — makes it a rich backdrop (if not the primary subject) for artists applying their own creative forces to one of life’s most essential and inscrutable elements. 

    Image: John F. Phillips, American|Canadian, (1945–2010), Distributing Water, Meredith March, Mississippi, 1966.

Past Exhibitions

  • A round print featuring two cupped hands in the middle surrounded by butterflies

    William Villalongo: Myths and Migrations

    Over the past 20 years, William Villalongo has expressed in his work the absurdity, beauty, and vulnerability of black presence against the backdrop of race. The works become portals or navigational devices for thinking about the mystery within human experience through the poetics of history, myth, and satire. This exhibition will present more than fifty paintings, collages, and signature velour paper cut-outs by Villalongo, who was a 2021 recipient of the Rome Prize in the visual arts, awarded by the American Academy in Rome.

    Visit the Exhibition's webpage

  • Stephen Appleby-Barr. Nimco, The Dissertation, 2022. Oil on linen, 36 x 30 in. Grinnell College Museum of Art Collection (2022.060). Image courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto.

    Sept. 15–Dec. 10, 2023

    Stephen Appleby-Barr: Correspondence

    This will be the first museum exhibition in the United States of the work of London-based Canadian artist Stephen Appleby-Barr, whose drawing, painting, and printmaking bring together influences from the history of art and literature, his European travels, and the community of friends who gather around his London studio. This exhibition will provide context for the portrait, Nimco, the Dissertation, which was acquired for the Museum of Art collection in 2022.

  • A black and white image of a figure dressed in a Napoleonic had and black overcoat facing the viewer.

    Sept. 15, 2023 – Jan. 14, 2024

    Old Friends and Psychopomps

    The defining quality of a psychopomp is that it bears the responsibility of guiding souls through a transition of life, often into death. Throughout many religions and spiritualities, they have been our conductors on journeys to worlds unknown. Inspired by the works and words of artist Stephen Appleby-Barr, this exhibition of prints from GCMoA’s collection presents various representations of these mystical, whimsical, and occasionally grim figures, introducing viewers to companions that, while otherworldly, can cast immense reflections of the world we know. Curated by Melena Johnson ’23, and made possible by support from the International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA).

  • Frontal portrait of two siblings, one standing and one seated, against a wall of brightly colored graffiti like symbols.

    Through August 26, 2023

    Sustaining Vision: Recent Acquisitions for the Museum of Art Collection

    Grinnell College's art collection has been growing since the institution's early days, when an education grounded in the humanities was considered essential to an individual’s soundness of mind and being and also to the health, vibrance, and sustainability of society as a whole. Primary-source experience of works of art is still a vital and distinguishing feature of a Grinnell College education and continues to form the core mission of the Grinnell College Museum of Art.

    The art collection continues to grow every year with purchases from endowed funds as well as substantial gifts from alumni and friends of the College. This summer we are proud to present works of art acquired for the collection since 2021.

    Image: Oscar yi Hou. The siblings in my studio, aka: Gemini, Sagittarian, 2021. Oil on canvas, 54 3/8 x 35 5/8 in. (138.11 x 90.49 cm). Marie-Louise and Samuel R. Rosenthal Fund (2021.049).

  • Installation view of BAX 2023 showing a portrait of a student, an abstract painting, and two animal sculptures on the floor

    Apr. 21–May 22, 2023


    BAX, the Bachelor of Art Exhibition, presents work in the creative arts by third- and fourth-year Grinnell College students.

    With support from GCMoA staff, students manage all the exhibition details: from the submission of proposals, to the selection of a juror, to the installation process, and the creation of an exhibition catalog and website. The exhibition includes photographs, drawings, sculpture, paintings, video, installations, and works created digitally.

    Image: Works by Mordecai Gonzalez-Rodriguez ’23, Kelly Banfield ’24, Philomena Frasca ’25, and Josephine Blumenthal ’23.

  • Detail of the center of a decorative plate in a blue and white pattern

    Feb. 3–May 6

    Fragmentary Visions: Grinnell College’s Kelekian Collection

    Nanette Rodney Kelekian, granddaughter of famed art dealer Dikran Kelekian, began gifting portions of her grandfather’s collection to Grinnell College in 1984. Since then, individual pieces have been included in exhibitions, but Fragmentary Visions is the most comprehensive display of Grinnell’s extensive Kelekian collection. The ceramics, manuscripts, and textiles on display are some of the oldest objects in the museum’s permanent collection, hailing from the Eastern Mediterranean, West Asia, and the greater Islamic world. This exhibition showcases fragments and everyday objects alongside art made for the elite, allowing the viewer to experience the spectrum of art collected by many museums, but rarely shown together. Fragmentary Visions is curated by Exhibition Seminar students Marina Busby ’24, David Gales ’23, Melena Johnson ’23, and Verda Karaoglu ’25, taught by Professor Eiren Shea of the Art History Department.

    Explore the exhibition webpage

  • A sculpture resembling a light tan suitcase with a large circular hole cut through it

    Jan. 27–April 8, 2023

    Devices, Tools, Objects, and Props: Recent work by Jeremy Chen 

    This exhibition of sculptural artworks by Assistant Professor of Studio Art and Chair of American Studies Jeremy Chen invites contemplation on the manifold meanings and uses of objects or things, and our complex entanglement with materials. Consisting primarily of humble objects of pathos or humor, many works in the exhibition have a purpose or use with the human body. 

  • An etching by Arpita Singh showing four figures in robes walking in different directions along a map of winding paths.

    Sept. 27 – Dec. 10, 2022

    Paper Trails: Modern Indian Works on Paper from the Gaur Collection

    Within the context of modern and contemporary India, works on paper offered artists a way of cultivating transnational modernist expression while continuing to explore the potential of a medium that had deeper roots in older artistic traditions native to the subcontinent. This exhibition features watercolors, drawings, etchings, sketches, and lithographs by senior Indian modernists, born primarily before the 1950s, who came of age in the decades directly following Independence in 1947. These artists span the transition from colonial to postcolonial India, and each represents a unique engagement with what Rebecca Brown has described as a fundamental paradox facing this generation of artists: that of how to be both modern and Indian. These artists are not afraid to embrace both realism and abstraction, to explore complex metaphors, and to make political statements that directly engage India’s past, present, and future.

    This exhibition, drawn from the collection of Umesh and Sunanda Gaur, is curated by Dr. Tamara Sears, professor of art and architectural history of South Asia, Department of Art History at Rutgers University.

    Image: Arpita Singh, I could see London through clouds, 2007. Etching on paper, 32 7/8 x 27 ¾ in. Courtesy of the Gaur Collection.

  • Close up view of a rug composed of red, green and gold.

    Sept. 27 — Dec. 10, 2022

    Reverent Ornament: Art from the Islamic World

    Comprising works of fine glassware, ceramics, metalwork, painting, weaponry, weaving, and much more, Reverent Ornament shares 45 timeless treasures from a region whose everyday life, history, and culture offer many parallels to our own. If it is true that peace begins through understanding, then this ambitious collection offers us a rare opportunity for artistic exchange — a living bridge between cultures.

    Reverent Ornament: Art from the Islamic World was organized by the Huntington Museum of Art, and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.

  • Detail of collage by Rashaad Newsome, Showing a bust-length human Black figure combined with African statuary head.

    Sustaining Vision: Recent Gifts and Purchases for the Museum of Art Collection

    While we install our fall exhibitions, we continue to show recent acquisitions by Damon Davis, Rashaad Newsome, Shimon Okshteyn, and William Villalongo.

    The art collection of Grinnell College has been growing since the institution's early days. The uncertainty of the past three years has had little impact on this expanding diversity and growth. In the visual arts, as in the human creative impulses at their heart and in the heart of every Grinnellian, the supply chain is not an issue.

    When space allows, we are proud to present objects from our growing collection here in the museum. The five recent additions to the collection on view will help sustain and enrich the College’s teaching mission for generations of future Grinnellians, nimble yet steadfast astride the changing times.

  • Detail of quilt in Jewel Box Ribbons exhibition

    June 28 — Aug. 27, 2022

    Jewel Box Ribbons

    This exhibition of the Jewel Box Quilters Guild features quilts of all sizes, techniques, colors, and patterns, designed and quilted by local guild members. This will be their first exhibition at the museum since a pattern has been set for all of us by the pandemic: isolation, stasis, discovery, emergence, renewal.

  • BAX Reception

    Apr. 22 — May 23, 2022


    BAX, the Bachelor of Art Exhibition presents work in the creative arts by third- and fourth-year Grinnell College students.

    With support from GCMoA staff, students manage all the exhibition details: from the submission of proposals, to the selection of a juror, to the installation process, and the creation of an exhibition catalog and website. The exhibition includes photographs, drawings, sculpture, paintings, video, installations, and works created digitally.

  • Matthew Kluber's digital collage of blue screen patterns, a horizontal bright blue against a vertical deeper blue in a cross shape, set against a vibrant red background.

    Jan. 28 — Apr. 9, 2022

    Digital Vision

    In Digital Vision, six artists draw inspiration from electronics: the images on the screen and the screen itself; digital animations and the code behind them; even the inner guts of our machines to create works of art. These artists are adept as digital creators, but they are equally entranced by computers, projectors, and peripherals as things, as subjects, and as materials for their art. Nam June Paik might be the best ancestor for these 21st century creators.

    Digital Vision builds on the work of Matthew Kluber, professor of art at Grinnell College, who brings together printing, painting, digital art, and sculpture to make wholly new art. In a studio practice that combines paint, 3D printers, and computer programming, Matthew finds a new interface between physical and virtual.

  • Two men laying side by side in an intimate gesture

    Sept. 7 – Dec. 12, 2021


    This exhibition presents eight artists — Louis Fratino, Jordan King, Jeremy Laing, Doron Langberg, Catherine Opie, Christina Quarles, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Devan Shimoyama — whose works enable dialogue at the intersections of identity expression: race, gender, individuality, and otherness, equality within differences, with a focus on the body as expressive terrain. The artists represent distinct voices across a spectrum of media, reflecting diversity in identity expression where it intersects with contemporary political, social, and economic issues, always relevant but particularly charged at this moment.

    Curated by Associate Director Daniel Strong and Guest Curator Greg Manuel.

    Explore the website for Queer/Dialogue

  • Image of the Coretta Scott King Award

    June 25–Aug. 15, 2021

    Our Voice: Celebrating the Coretta Scott King Awards

    The Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards annually recognizes outstanding African American artists of children’s books who demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. Our Voice is the first retrospective of all winners and honorees since the establishment of the award in 1974. This exhibition is organized by the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature, Abilene, Texas. Special thanks to Nick Glass and

    Explore the Our Voice virtual exhibition

  • Black forms suspended from the walls and ceiling in the gallery by red bands

    Bachelor of Arts Exhibition

    BAX 2021

    BAX features works in the creative arts by third- and fourth-year Grinnell College students.

    With support from GCMoA staff, students manage all the exhibition details: from the submission of proposals to the selection of a juror to the installation process and creation of an exhibition website. The exhibition includes photographs, drawings, sculpture, paintings, video, installations, and works created digitally. This year at least half of the work by the 30 student artists are available only on the exhibition website since many of the artists have done their creative work while working remotely around the U.S. and the world. During the pandemic, a team of students has taken the lead in organizing BAX for this year. They include: Sophie Doddimeade ’21, Clara Dingle ’22, Tess Kerkhof ’21, Tommy (Guhn) Lee ’22, Caroline Shea ’22, and Hannah Taylor ’21.

    The juror this year is J.M. Culver of Minnesota, who awards Best in Show and other prizes. Additional prizes are awarded by the Office of Student Affairs, the Student Government Association, and the Studio Art Department.

    Visit the BAX 2021 website

  • Charles Bierk's Tau

    Face Forward

    How many faces (besides your own in the mirror) have you laid eyes on in the past year? It’s time to look again, and so we're pleased to present Face Forward, an opportunity to present the diversity of portraiture and figurative works we have in our collection, as well as feature new acquisitions that you have not seen on campus before. 

    Explore the works in the exhibition, Face Forward

  • View of a Black figure from behind with a camera perched on his shoulder aimed at the viewer.

    Face Forward

    Introduction to the Exhibition

    Daniel Strong, associate director and curator of exhibitions, discusses works of art featured in Face Forward.

  • Photograph by Aida Muluneh

    Fall 2020 Virtual Exhibition

    Let Yourself Continue

    August 2020 marks the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

    In commemoration of this event, the Grinnell College Museum of Art is presenting work by more than 50 women artists represented in the Museum of Art’s collection.

    Explore the Let Yourself Continue virtual exhibition

  • Print by Aaron Rothman

    April 17–Aug. 2, 2020

    Nature, Made

    What happens when an artist doesn’t just represent the natural world, but makes it anew, through a creative lens?

    Five alumni artists work with animals, plants, and environments, crafting them into personal expression and commenting on the human impulse to alter the world around us. The exhibition, curated by Lesley Wright, director of the Museum, will include painting, printmaking, sculpture and drawing by artists Fay Stanford ’72, Pamela Crockett ’76, Aaron Rothman ’96, Regan Golden ’00, and John Martin Bell ’08.

    Explore the Nature, Made virtual exhibition.

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