An exhibit opening this week at the State Historical Museum of Iowa features dozens of works from an eastern Iowa artist.
Rose Frantzen, of Maquoketa, painted 180 portraits of residents in the Jackson County town. Museum spokesman Jeff Morgan says the people featured range from infants to the elderly, but it’s what’s on the other side of the portaits that makes the display so unusual.
“The portraits she painted are mounted on 34 different hanging panels and suspended from the ceiling,” Morgan says. “On the back side, what she has done is created a panoramic view of Maquoketa and the surrounding area. So, when you are on one side of the exhibit, you see the portraits of the individuals she painted and on the other side, you will see this wonderful vista.”
The exhibit opens Friday and is called, “Portrait of Maquoketa: The Dimensional View.”
“It really captures the history and identity of the Maquoketa community and reinforces what makes us uniquely Iowan,” Morgan says. “It also features an audio composition created by Rose’s brother, John Frantzen. It really helps the visitor to experience Maquoketa through the artist’s eyes.”
The portraits were created ten years ago in a vacant storefront in Maquoketa and went on to be featured at the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.