In honor of the museum’s 125th anniversary, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art has mounted a new exhibition of 125 masterpieces drawn from its permanent collection of over 8,000 objects. The selected pieces—reflecting a variety of subjects, centuries, and media—include works by local artists as well as internationally recognized masters such as Dalí, Rockwell, Warhol, and Picasso.
When you have more than 8,000 works at your fingertips, narrowing the selection to 125 becomes a monumental task — one that kept Kate Kunau busy for several months.
As associate curator for the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, she usually builds exhibitions around a single artist or theme. But for “125! 125 Masterworks from the Collection,” she had the depth and breadth of the museum’s works from which to choose.
From Saturday through Jan. 17, visitors can see her selections, spanning the centuries from Roman antiquities to Andy Warhol’s pop art stylings.
“Any other human could have gone into the collection, picked out 125 pieces completely different from my 125, and it would have been equally as important,” Kunau said. “Definitely, every exhibition is a portrait of the curator and the person who designed it.
“I’ve chosen 125 really good, fun works that say a lot about our collecting process. Our first piece was collected in 1906, so we’ve been collecting for 114 years now. We’ve a very American collection and we’ve changed with the times. We’ve always tried to include local artists in our collection, as well as artists that are on the national and international stages.”