Spring Break for the Schilling Family was defined by One Place. We were determined to get to Davenport before Tom Chouteau’s exhibit closed at the German American Heritage Museum closed. Tom has been building large kaleidoscope installations for many years and the GAHC.org was able to incorporate some of his installations along with the history of German immigrant Charles Busch who produced Bush kaleidoscopes in the 1800’s in New England.
Here is a TripAdvisor Review of Tom Chouteau’s Kaleidoscope Exhibit.
And here is a link to the antique Bush kaleidoscope we lent to the exhibit.
We were honored that we could lend such an important piece of history to this exhibit.
Another stop in the Quad Cities for us was the John Deere International Headquarters.
Being architecture fans, we needed to experience the Eero Saarinen designed building and landscape. Our kids had a great time climbing into the new tractors on the showroom and we really enjoyed the historical displays of letters and documents from the early years of the company. The front building is designed as an elegant showroom and museum open to the public with a skyway over to the executive building. The highlight was when the Docent realized we were there for the art and the architecture. He took is into the lobby of the executive building where 4 stained glass panels were installed that illustrate the 4 seasons of agriculture. These panels were from the original offices down at the Rock Island Arsenal.
Then. He simply said “Follow me.” And we followed back to the public space of the showroom. And up the stairs at the north end. Then he asked us to wait while he found the light switches.
Then we experienced the Auditorium designed by Eero Saarinen with original artwork by Grant Wood. The auditorium feels like an elegant harpsichord with the white upholstery, wooden armrests and angular turns.
A large tryptich of fields by Grant Wood is the focus of the landing as you climb the steps to the auditorium. Great and deep texturing in the plaster base creates the feeling of prairie grasses.
The lobby features 6 drawings by Grant Wood from 1936, the depths of the depression and Dust Bowl. Drawn in pencil on Butcher Paper, these simple portraits still celebrate the promise of the bounty of the land.
It was a quick 2 day trip, but we hope that we continued to instill in our daughters the love of art in travel. So even when we’re travelling, you can always find us here.