Arts and attractions

Fountain of the Four Seasons

Fountain of the Four Seasons sculpture by Christian Petersen.

Exhibits Calendar

Anderson Sculpture Garden | contact

South of Morrill Hall, free

  • "Ginnever: Transforming Perspectives," through fall 2022

Brunnier Art Museum | contact

Mondays and Tuesday: curriculum tours by appointment only; 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; closed on university holidays and during break, $8 suggested donation

  • "Arte Cubano," exhibit highlighting Cuban art, through Nov. 21
  • "Studio to Contemporary Glass: 1960s to Today," through July 2022

    Christian Petersen Art Museum | contact

    10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Monday-Friday; 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, closed on university holidays and during break, $8 suggested donation

    • "Ginnever: Folded Forms," Origami series maquettes and drawings, through Dec. 17

    Farm House Museum | contact

    Central campus, noon-4 p.m. Monday-Friday when ISU is in session, $8 suggested donation

    • "Yuletide 2021: Hearth and Home," features the influences of Victorian traditions, through Dec. 15
      Yuletide Evening, Dec. 3, 5-8 p.m.

    Gallery 181 | 515-294-7428

    College of Design, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, free

    Memorial Union | contact

    • Memorial Union Art Gallery, 1568 Memorial Union, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 1-4 p.m. Sunday
      • "Studies in Creativity Exhibit," annual fall student exhibit featuring 39 pieces by 28 artists, through Nov. 17.

    Parks Library | contact

    Special Collections and University Archives, 403 Parks Library, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday (reading room is closed Fridays as of Oct. 11), free

    • "A Home Away From Home: The George A. Jackson Black Cultural Center," an exhibition to recognize the 2020 50th Anniversary of the George A. Jackson Black Cultural Center, through December 2021.
    • Online exhibits:

    Throughout Parks Library

    • "Art in Parks," features contemporary women artists, ongoing

    Reiman Gardens | contact

    10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily (Oct. 1-April 30), $11 (youth $6, free for members)

    Hughes Conservatory

    • "Planting in Patchwork," features oversized notions, a 12'x12' planted quilt block and samples sewn by quilters from all over Iowa, through Nov. 13

    Garden Room Gallery

    • "Folding Cranes, Enfolding Community," more than 6,000 folded paper cranes serve as a memorial to Iowans who died from COVID-19, Pamela S. Douglas, through Dec. 8

      Textiles and Clothing Museum, Mary Alice Gallery | contact

      1015 Morrill Hall, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday, free

      • "Des Moines Gay Men's Chorus, Queer Spaces, Collective Styles and Activist Dress, 1984-present," samples of costumes that varied according to the performance, through Jan. 15, 2022
      • "Fashion Forward: Centering Justice in Fashion History," confronting past traditions by reinterpreting items from the collection using a justice-oriented lens, through Jan. 15, 2022
      Reiman Gardens

      Reiman Gardens

      Campus attractions


      Best public rose garden

      Iowa State's Reiman Gardens has been named the best public rose garden in the U.S.

      Most beautiful campus

      Iowa State's campus includes over 2,500 public works of art and was rated as one of America's 25 most beautiful in the book, The Campus as a Work of Art.


      The 10-bell carillon chime installed in the Campanile in 1899 was the first scientifically tuned bell chime outside of England; the carillon has 50 bells today.

      Building of the 20th Century

      Iowa State's Stephens Auditorium was named Iowa's "Building of the 20th Century" by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Iowa Chapter.

      Most Grant Wood murals

      Iowa State has the largest Grant Wood murals in the nation, including two WPA projects located in Parks Library -- "Breaking the Sod" and "When Tillage Begins, Other Arts Follow."

      Seamless curtain

      The main stage curtain in Stephens Auditorium is seamless, made entirely of silk, measures 85 by 35 feet and weighs 3,000 pounds. It was woven in Kyoto, Japan, on the world's largest continuous loom.

      Accredited museum

      The University Museums at Iowa State is one of only 10 percent of museums in the nation to be accredited by the American Association of Museums.

      Medallion site

      Iowa State's central campus was one of only three university campuses to make the American Society of Landscape Architect's 1999 centennial listing of "Medallion Sites."

      Most Christian Petersen sculptures

      Iowa State holds the nation's largest campus public collection of sculptures by Christian Petersen, who was artist-in-residence from 1934 to 1955.

      University Museums' Collection

      You can take a virtual look at the University Museums’ Collection of over 30,000 objects Digital Art on Campus project.