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

Brunnier Art Museum | contact

Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sat and Sun, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (while ISU is in session), $3 suggested donation

  • "Contemplate Japan," Japanese woodblock prints, bamboo baskets, ikebana floral arrangements, kimono, ceramics and contemporary sculpture, through July 31, 2020
  • "Iowa and Contemporary Pottery," the collections of several donors reflect various aspects of ceramics making, from the functional to the abstract, along with a diverse range of techniques and materials, through July 31, 2020

    Christian Petersen Art Museum | contact

    Morrill Hall, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, $3 suggested donation

    • "Creating Global Understanding: World Languages and Cultures and University Museums," the diversity of cultures studied and represented among the faculty of the World Languages and Cultures department lent itself to an exhibition that explores the diversity in University Museums' permanent collection, Campbell Gallery, through July 31, 2020
      Reception: Feb. 6 (4-6 p.m.)

    Design on Main Gallery | contact

    203 Main St., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday (until 8 p.m. Thursday)

    • "AiR: Catherine Reinhart," paper and fiber works, videos and sculptures Reinhart, an Ames artist, developed as artist-in-residence and gallery manager (August 2017 through June 2019), through Feb. 4, 2020
      Public reception: Jan. 31 (5-7 p.m.)

    Farm House Museum | contact

    Central campus, Noon-4 p.m., Monday-Friday when ISU is in session, $3 suggested donation

    Gallery 181 | 515-294-7428

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

      Memorial Union | contact

      Gallery, viewing based on room availability, free

      • "Brent Herrig: Spoonfuls of Inspiration," based on the idea that every chef, bartender or barista has a favorite spoon -- considered by some to be an extension of his or her arm, through Feb. 16, 2020

      Pioneer Room, viewing based on room availability, free

      • "Layers - A Collection," artwork by Emily Kobliska, highlighting the splendor in depreciating buildings, discarded photographs, quiet landscapes and forgotten farms and small towns, Kobliska's process uses layers of discarded papers, acrylic paint, image transfers and epoxy resin, through Feb. 3, 2020

      Multicultural Center, 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, 5-11 p.m. Sunday, free

      Parks Library | contact

      Special Collections and University Archives, 403 Parks Library, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, free

      • "Our Trip Will Long Be Remembered," an exhibition following the trail of a bird-watching road trip of Walter M. Rosene, Sr. and Walter Bennett, through summer 2020
      • Online exhibits:

      Throughout Parks Library

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

      Reiman Gardens | contact

      9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, $9 (youth $4.50, free for members)

      Hughes Conservatory

      • "Magical Fairy Woodland," tiny exotic plants, imagination and wonder reveal the world of fairies, including how they travel with butterflies, adapt like plants and inspire innovation in humans

        Textiles and Clothing Museum, Mary Alice Gallery | contact

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

        • Upcoming: "Collegiate Fashion and Activism: Black Women's Style on the College Campus," Feb. 3-April 17, 2020
          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 600 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.

          Online art tour

          You can take a virtual look at some campus art with University Museums' Digital Art on Campus project.