Marshalltown Reopens Cultural Center

The Fisher Art Museum’s painting “Poppet” by Augustus John, shown before, during (under black light) and after a recent cleaning at the Conservation Center of Chicago.

By Michael Morain
Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

First, a tornado in 2018. Then, a derecho two years later.

Next, a grand opening on Sept. 18 for the recently renamed and renovated Marshalltown Arts and Civic Center. The $8 million transformation of the former Fisher Community Center is funded in part by an Iowa Great Places grant from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

The building houses both the Martha-Ellen Tye Playhouse and the Fisher Art Museum, which boasts a notable collection of impressionist work by Mary Cassat, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse and others. By a stroke of luck, 44 pieces were carted off to the Conservation Center of Chicago just three weeks before the 2020 derecho tore into their Marshalltown home. The artwork recently returned after a $200,000 restoration.

During the opening celebration, visitors can take guided tours of the new space or linger outside to enjoy food-truck fare and live music.


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