Perrine Gallery

If the Cone Gallery establishes the mood of the renovated facility, it is the spacious Perrine Gallery, occupying the "floating mezzanine" up one flight of stairs, that most often elicits responses of delight and surprise from first-time visitors. With its white walls, barrel-vaulted ceiling, oak floors, and natural light from its towering Georgian windows, the large expanse creates a perfect showcase for the college's Grant Wood collection:12 works that were appraised in 1985 at a value of several million dollars.

Seven of the Wood pieces on display in the Perrine Gallery are oil paintings comprised in the well-known Fruits of Iowa grouping, commissioned in 1932 as murals by Eugene Eppley of the Eppley Hotel chain. The paintings, which pay homage to the bounty of Iowa agriculture, include five large, stylized images - the Iowa farmer, his wife, his son, his daughter (for whom Winnifred Cone was the model), and a hired hand - and two smaller paintings, Farm Landscape and Fruit Basket.

Other Wood artworks on view include Honorary Degree, a lithograph that depicts the artist as a pudgy, bespectacled recipient of a degree; Stork, an oriental-style watercolor Wood painted on a window shade in 1910 for a high school play; a charcoal on paper drawing of the satirical Daughters of the Revolution, and two drawings from his high school yearbook.