Art Center History

MuscatineIA_LauraMusserMcColmHouse

Open since 1965, the Laura Musser Museum/Muscatine Art Center is many things to the community of Muscatine - Historic House Museum, Art Gallery, and Local History Museum. The people of Muscatine have made 1314 Mulberry Avenue a gathering place for celebrating the area’s history, art, and culture. The property is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and features a Japanese-style garden dating to the early 1930s. As a department of the City of Muscatine, the Muscatine Art Center’s mission is to collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit objects of historical and aesthetic importance for the benefit of present and future generations.

As donors, the heirs of Laura Musser, Mary Catherine Atkins McWhirter and Mary Musser Gilmore, may not have envisioned how thousands of individuals would come to contribute in their own ways to the building of a collection, the expansion of the facility, and the creation of programs to inspire people of all ages. Entire collections of historic artifacts and works of art have been donated during the organization's first 50 years.

Among the most significant contributions was that of C. Maxwell and Elizabeth Stanley who donated the Stanley Gallery (and surrounding sculpture courtyard), which provides contemporary space for changing exhibitions and studio art classes.