Gov. Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds announce new blockbuster museum exhibition opening June 27

State of Iowa Seal

State of Iowa Seal

“Hollywood in the Heartland” explores history of Iowa and Iowans in the movies

Tom Arnold appearance, film series and related programming

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds were joined at their regular weekly press conference today by Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie to announce a blockbuster exhibition, “Hollywood in the Heartland,” will open this month at the State Historical Museum of Iowa. The State Historical Museum is a bureau of the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs.

“I’m pleased to announce another great exhibit – “Hollywood in the Heartland” – launching at the State Historical Museum,” said Branstad. “Hollywood in the Heartland explores our legacy with the silver screen from the late 1800s to today’s movies and filmmaking and I invite all Iowans to visit the State Historical Museum to see this blockbuster exhibit.”

“I’m excited for this exhibit to open because it offers an opportunity for movie buffs, historians and family members of all ages to learn about Iowa’s connections to the movie industry,” said Reynolds. “This exhibit not only showcases our past, it also points us to the future where new movie and media production technologies are generating more opportunities for creativity, growth and expansion. The Governor and I invite audiences of all ages to come see it beginning on June 27th.”

“Hollywood in the Heartland” is a 6,400 square-foot exhibition that shows how Iowa and Iowans have been portrayed on film, uncovers the beauty of Iowa’s historic theaters and their role in Iowa communities, and the people who have made an impression on-screen and behind the scenes. The exhibition will include distinct areas tracing Iowa’s stage and screen heritage from opera houses and Vaudeville performances to Iowa filmmaking today.

“When it comes to the movies, the best ones capture our common bonds as people,” said Cownie. “This new exhibit reflects the contributions Iowa and Iowans have made in bringing magic to the movies in Hollywood.”

During the press conference, Branstad and Reynolds offered a glimpse at what the exhibit will include, including the Academy Award won by Iowa native Cloris Leachman for Best Supporting Actress in “The Last Picture Show” (1971).

Other artifacts to be on display include:

· During opening weekend, Donna Reed’s Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in “From Here to Eternity” (1953)

· A 1933 copy of Phil Stong’s “State Fair” and a ticket from the 1945 World Premiere of “State Fair” in Des Moines.

· A uniform from “The Music Man” in 1962

· Props from “Cold Turkey” in 1971

· A replica 1919 Chicago White Sox uniform from the “Field of Dreams” in 1989

· And we have a bicycle used by Meryl Streep in “The Bridges of Madison County” in 1995

Personalities included in the exhibit will be novelist Oscar Micheaux, the Blank and Fridley families, and actors from across the state. Featured actors and actresses will include Leachman, Reed, John Wayne and Ashton Kutcher, among many others.

The exhibit will also look at the role of historic theatres in Iowa communities including Fort Madison, Charles City, Missouri Valley, Dubuque, Sioux City, Des Moines and other towns and cities.

“Hollywood in the Heartland” is supported by the State Historical Museum’s exhibit partners Iowa Historical Foundation, Iowa Public Television and Produce Iowa – the State Office of Media Production and exhibit sponsors Bravo Greater Des Moines, Humanities Iowa and the Fred Maytag Family Foundation.

The schedule of opening weekend programs follows:

Friday, June 27

“Hollywood Backstories with Tom Arnold” presented by Produce Iowa

10 a.m. – FREE

Join Iowan Tom Arnold at the State Historical Museum as he kicks off opening day of the new exhibition, Hollywood in the Heartland. Tom will talk about his rise from Ottumwa to Hollywood and everything in between. And as a writer, producer, actor and comedian, he has a lot of stories to tell. Tom has been in over 120 film and television projects including True Lies, Nine Months, and Mike Myers’ documentary released this month, Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon. In addition to hosting CMT’s top-rated My Big Redneck franchise, Tom has also been on a comedy stand-up tour throughout the US over the past year, and we are excited to welcome him back to Des Moines.

Exhibit Tour with Museum Staff

1 and 3 p.m. – FREE

Experience “Hollywood in the Heartland” with a free guided tour from State Historical Museum staff.

Music Man Matinee – FREE

1 p.m. – Doors open

1:15 p.m. – Discussion

1:30 p.m. – Movie

Attend a short preview discussion and a screening of “The Music Man” (2 hrs, 55 min). Question and Answer session to follow movie.

Saturday, June 28

Exhibit Tour with Museum Staff

10 a.m. and 1 p.m. – FREE

Experience “Hollywood in the Heartland” with a free guided tour from State Historical Museum staff.

Iowa’s Opera Houses and Movie Theatres

11 a.m. – FREE

Iowa has the full range of historic entertainment venues from opera houses located in small towns across the state to the grand movie palaces in our largest cities. This presentation from Historian Ralph Christian and Architectural Historian Paula Mohr of the State Historic Preservation Office will tell the fascinating story of how and where Iowans enjoyed various forms of entertainment from early settlement to the multiplexes of today.

Children’s Activities

11 a.m.-2 p.m. – FREE

Make flipbooks, storyboards, and movie posters and decorating stars.

Adam Van Wyk

2 p.m. – FREE

Adam Van Wyk will talk about animated films. Van Wyk worked on “Despicable Me,” “Despicable Me 2” and “Ice Age,” among others, and is a Des Moines-based voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Iowa Stars Trivia Game

3:30 p.m. – FREE

Find the Iowa stars in the new exhibit and answer questions.

Sunday, June 29

Exhibit Tour with Museum Staff

1 p.m. – FREE

Experience “Hollywood in the Heartland” with a free guided tour from State Historical Museum staff.

19th Century Projected Entertainment (Humanities Iowa)

2:30-4 p.m. – FREE

Join Michael Zahs as he shows some of the world’s oldest films known to exist. The films were originally shown by Frank and Indiana Brinton in small town opera houses or at Chautauqua gatherings. Some of their magic lantern slides and early movie presentations will be part of Zahs discussion. See story from USA Today.

All events are at the State Historical Museum, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. Visit or call 515-281-5111 for more information.



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