Other Arts Follow Home Economics Panel

Woman dusting (top), woman with baby and small boy (bottom)Woman fitting unfinished dress on another woman (top), woman in checked apron holding dishes (bottom)

The eight panels of the Other Arts Follow mural stand 17 feet high in the lobby stairwell of the original library building. The Home Economics panels on the north wall represent household arts, care of the home and family, sewing, and cooking. Decorative emphasis is placed on the pattern of the dresses and aprons, wallpaper, and grain of the wood. Grace Eby, an Iowa State student, was the model for the woman in the upper right-hand corner of the Home Economics panel.

It was suggested that these murals showing the practical arts be supplemented by six additional panels representing the fine arts to be placed in what is now the Periodical Room. Unfortunately, these panels were never started. The work was done as a group effort in Iowa City in 1934, at a time when Wood was in charge of the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) for Iowa and a member of the art faculty at the University of Iowa. The designs were drawn and the color scheme worked out by Grant Wood, with the actual painting being done by fourteen young artists who received university credit. Most of the work was done in the former swimming pool in the old men's gymnasium which was adapted to serve as a studio. After completion, the canvas panels were brought to the Library and hung by experts from the Chicago Art Institute late in 1934.