MUSCATINE – The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs announced last week that it will fund 31 different projects across the state through its Humanities Project Grants.
The Muscatine Art Center received $ 4,200 for an upcoming exhibition on the influence of Japanese culture in the Midwest from the 1890s to the 1930s.
According to art center director Melanie Alexander, the money provided through the grant will mainly be used to cover the cost of continuing to collaborate with Beth Cody, author of the book “Iowa Gardens of the Past”.
With Cody’s help and extensive research, Art Center staff will place more historical context on their already established Japanese-style garden. The exhibit will showcase objects owned by Laura Musser McColm that were inspired by Japanese culture, with Cody working alongside staff to develop interpretive text panels and other exhibit text.
“The staff are excited to continue the partnership with Cody, who has already provided eight articles exploring unanswered questions about Laura Musser McColm’s Japanese Garden installed in 1930 and helping us understand how Americans, including those in the Midwest, in came to appreciate Japanese design in the late 1800s and early 1900s, ”Alexander said.