TO A MOURNING DOVE sound installation
Rose Frantzen’s portrait of her hometown of Maquoketa, Iowa, is a multi-layered installation that began in 2006 when she invited townspeople to sit and have their portraits painted in a public studio she set up in a downtown storefront. The resulting 180 portraits, of sitters ranging in age from a few weeks to over 90, were shown at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC, in 2009. Subsequently, Frantzen painted a panoramic view of the town, seen across autumn fields, on 34 vertical panels. In the finished work, the panels hang in arcs across the gallery, with the portraits installed on their reverse sides, creating a composite portrait of a typical Midwestern town. Two sound installations, Voice of Maquoketa and To a Mourning Dove, by composer John Frantzen completes the scene. Created with an initial grant from the Iowa Arts Council, the work was acquired by the Figge Art Museum for its permanent collection in 2013, thanks to the generous efforts of multiple donors.
In 2012/2013 Portrait of Maquoketa was shown at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa and included a 315 square foot landscape view of Maquoketa painted by Rose to complete her full vision for this portrait of her town. The landscape is broken up on 34 vertical panels suspended from the ceiling and arranged in such a way that when a visitor sits at one end of the installation, all of the panels coalesce into a unified view of Maquoketa as seen from the hills outside of town. On the other side of the landscape panels all 180 portraits that Rose painted of her townspeople are displayed.
Iowa Arts Council
Portrait of Maquoketa: The Dimensional View Exhibit, Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA, 2016-2017.