The Des Moines Art Center

Jan 19, 2022 | No Reserve

We went on the road this summer was to discover great art in unexpected places. In our latest clip from No Reserve, the team visits the Des Moines Art Center and sits down with Museum Director Jeff Fleming. Did you know that the Des Moines Art Center owns one of the best Francis Bacon paintings in the world? The masterwork, titled “Study After Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X“, was acquired in 1980 with funds from the Coffin Fine Arts Trust. Fleming stresses the importance of investing in an artist early in their career or risk not having that artist in the museum’s collection. There is a similar Bacon being auctioned off at Phillips on November 17th with an estimate of $34-45M, a sum unobtainable by most museums. Fleming also discusses the Art Center’s focus on filling the holes in their collection; they have spent the past several years adding works by women, LGBTQ+ artists, and artists of color to the collection. The Arts Center realizes the significance of representing the global arc of art history but also stresses the representation of their local community as well.