District Art Collection

Art Collection History

When the Cedar Rapids Community School District began collecting art in 1912, it was impossible to recognize just how large the collection would become in less than a century.  The first piece was donated in 1912 in memory of Euphemia B. Grother, a teacher at Van Buren Elementary School.  From that first piece, the collection grew to include a variety of mediums and range of artists, both local and national.  Students, alumni, parents, teachers, and community members have all been a major force in developing the collection through donations, memorials, gifts, and commissions.

The collection includes more than 500 pieces, including paintings by Grant Wood, Marvin Cone, and Edwin Bruns; photographs by Carl Van Vechten; etchings by Mauricio Lasansky; and even a document signed by Benjamin Franklin, which is also the oldest piece in the collection.

The collection is spread across the school district with schools displaying various pieces.  The District also partners with the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art where several works are housed, including Grant Wood’s Young Corn and most of Carl Van Vechten’s photographs.


I had to go to France to appreciate Iowa.” –Grant Wood


Autumn Oaks by Grant Wood


For more information about pieces in the collection please contact Kristina Dvorak at krdvorak@cr.k12.ia.us