More Exhibits & Displays

    Throughout the museum and atrium, you will find smaller exhibits and displays about a variety of Iowa topics.

    Preserving Nature

    View taxidermy birds, duck decoys and artwork, and learn about the role the natural history collection has played in the life of the museum.

    Rand McNally Globe

    View the iconic globe, produced by Rand McNally, that stood in the lobby of the Des Moines Register & Tribune Company for 63 years. Rand McNally artisans spent 3,000 hours hand painting the 6-foot-wide, 150-pound, spun aluminum globe. In 1950, its installation commemorated 100 years of publishing.

    Recent Acquisitions

    View recent artifacts donated to the museum in two atrium display cases. Current highlights include classic Apple computer products used to train Iowa educators, including a 1992 PowerBook laptop signed by Apple’s co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak.  Another display highlights a selection of items related to Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign and participation in that year’s Iowa caucuses.  

    A Service to Silver: Tribute to the USS Iowa

    View the stunning 40-piece silver service that Iowa donated in 1896 to the U.S. Navy in honor of the newly commissioned USS Iowa battleship.

    Wall of Iowans

    Explore notable Iowans from Chief Mahaska to Shawn Johnson in this interactive touch display. Search through extraordinary Iowans on a touch screen and learn about their lives and the impact they made on their state, nation and the world.

    Wings Over Iowa

    View three vintage aircraft suspended from the ceiling of the atrium.

    • The Bleriot XI Monoplane (about 1909) was the first of Louis Bleriot’s aircraft designs to be fully successful. He proved the success of the machine by becoming the first person to cross the English Channel in an airplane 17 years before Lindbergh’s famous flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Following this success, Bleriot’s monoplanes sold well and many flying schools adopted them as standard trainers. Evert “Hud” Weeks restored this Bleriot XI to flyable condition in the late 1950s/early 1960s.
    • Brothers Arthur and Ben Klein built the Curtiss Pusher Biplane (about 1911) from a kit in Treynor, Iowa. The brothers flew the plane from 1911 to 1915, but due to frequent mechanical problems the plane was disassembled, stored and then rediscovered in the 1960s.
    • Oscar Solbrig, known as the Davenport Bird Man, built and flew the red and white Benoist Tractor Biplane (about 1917). Louis Anderson restored the plane, and it was on display at the old city museum of Davenport until 1962.

    99 Counties of Iowa

    Take a virtual tour across Iowa’s 99 counties to explore fascinating historical and cultural information. Learn about Iowa’s historic sites and Medal of Honor recipients, and transform historic photos and see what the scene looks like today.