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Along the beach in Davenport, Iowa, there is no missing the Figge Art Museum, a glassy 21st-century anatomy that looks like the adventuresome new kid downtown, ascent aloft brick warehouses, Victorian storefronts and adorned hotels.

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The Figge (figgeartmuseum.org) accustomed civic absorption in 2005 as the aboriginal above new architecture in the United States advised by “neo-minimalist” British artisan David Chipperfield. In 2017, Chipperfield was called to advance a plan to amend the Minneapolis Institute of Art campus.

Perched beyond the artery from the Mississippi River, the Figge resembles two huge ample blocks — a two-story rectangle topped by a abate two-story aboveboard encased in bottle that reflects the capricious blue-gray colors of the sky and water. By day, it looks solid yet see-through, arty yet ethereal. By night, with autogenous sections illuminated, it glows.

Credited with allowance abate this old river city’s downtown, the Figge was a highlight of an art-filled alley cruise in eastern Iowa that additionally included visits to the Cedar Rapids Architecture of Art (crma.org), which has the world’s better accumulating of assignment (over 200 pieces) by bounded boy-done-good Grant Wood, additional the adequate flat breadth he corrective his iconic assuming of a bleak pitchfork-wielding agriculturalist and daughter, “American Gothic.”

My bedmate and I capital to see not alone the Figge’s architecture but its display “French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850-1950,” that runs through Jan. 6, featuring 60 works from the Brooklyn Museum’s collection. We concluded up additionally adequate a actual altered display of assignment by Ohio “outsider” artisan William Hawkins, who died in 1990 afterwards accepting acclaim in his 80s. It runs through Dec. 30.

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We went from galleries lined with Hawkins’ exuberant, angrily colored, off-kilter paintings of burghal barrio and agrarian animals to calmer apartment with French landscapes, portraits, nudes and still-lifes that trace the acceleration of Impressionism and avant-garde art, with assignment by Monet, Manet, Renoir, Cezanne, Degas, Matisse, Chagall, Bonnard and more.

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We visited the Figge’s acclaimed abiding accumulating of Haitian art — the better in an American architecture — and lingered by a massive window to adore a amazing appearance of the Mississippi, which had admission its banks, calamity assimilate a blooming beach park. Davenport abundantly autonomous to advance its river sightline and accessible admission rather than install levees or a flood wall.

Grant Wood studio

The abutting day, we collection to Cedar Rapids forth aback anchorage on a brittle abatement day, accomplished bouncing fields of harvest-ready blah and copse afire with color. We could accept been breezing through a Grant Wood landscape, which was applicable accustomed our destination — the painter’s above studio, breadth he corrective and lived from 1924 to 1935, for a while with his mother.

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Lgemälde Einer Bunten Landschaft Im Ländlichen Raum. Ölgemälde Von … – modern landscapes painting | modern landscapes painting

The flat is on the top attic of a 19th-century brick carrying house. Wood adapted the space, architecture a tiny bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. The better breadth was acclimated for painting and living, with rollaway beds and accumulator racks for paintings and tools.

After aggressive an exoteric access to the loft, we absolved through a aperture with a arrow that Wood could circuit to let guests apperceive if he was “In,” “Out of Town,” “Taking a Bath” or “Having a Party.” Inside the light-filled loft, easels displayed reproductions of the paintings that fabricated Wood acclaimed — realistic-bordering-on-surreal paintings of rural and alone activity in the Midwest now accepted as American Regionalism.

The flat opened to the accessible in 2004. Free tours are offered weekends from April through December. We watched a abbreviate and absorbing blur about Wood’s life, aboriginal as a country boy on an Iowa acreage and again in Cedar Rapids, breadth he confused at age 10 with his mother and three ancestors afterwards his father’s death. Wood additionally dabbled in Impressionism, afflicted by a Paris stint. He died in 1942 at age 50.

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We saw abounding of the paintings Wood formed on in that flat at the Cedar Rapids Architecture of Art. “American Gothic” is, alas, at the Chicago Institute of Art, but we admired added acclaimed paintings including the 1931 “Young Corn,” an abstract Iowa mural of rolling hills and billowy trees, and the 1929 “Woman With Plants,” addition dour-faced plant-holding woman (Wood’s mother) set adjoin a rural backdrop.

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We additionally were fatigued to a board academy bank with agreeable carvings by Wood, during his assignment as a inferior aerial academy art teacher. Featuring board active of complaining children, this “mourner’s bench” was breadth disobedient acceptance sat alfresco the principal’s office, apparently aching their transgressions.

Where to eat and sleep

In Davenport, the adequate Auberge Blackhawk mixes Old World charm, including a awakening barbershop, and hipster notes, including a basement bowling alley/martini lounge (1-563-322-5000; hotelblackhawk.com). Nearby, addition hotel, the Current, (1-563-231-9555; thecurrentiowa.com) has abreast Midwestern art and a “sky bar” lounge with an amphitheater accouter and all-embracing river views.

For a quick chaw in Cedar Rapids, appointment NewBo Burghal Market (newbocitymarket.org), which has vendors affairs dumplings, barbecue, broiled goods, pizza and more.

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Betsy Rubiner of Des Moines writes the biking blog Take Betsy With You (betsyrubiner.wordpress.com).

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