Museums & Science Centers: Pete Wettach Photos Capture Vintage Iowa

pete wettach, dairy barn
Farm Security Administration supervisor A.M. “Pete” Wettach photographed farms and families during the Depression and Postwar years, capturing a uniquely Iowan era. A selection of his photographs is on exhibit at the Herbert Hoover Library.

HERBERT HOOVER LIBRARY & MUSEUM, 210 Parkside Dr., West Branch. (319) 643-5301. The Legacies for Iowa Collections Sharing Project: Farm Life in Iowa. An exhibition of photographs taken by A. M. “Pete” Wettach from 1925 to 1960. Through March 18.

NATIONAL CZECH & SLOVAK MUSEUM, 1400 Inspiration Place SW, Cedar Rapids. (319) 362-8500. Cool & Collected. The museum’s collection of traditional folk crafts has expanded to include Czech and Slovak glass, porcelain, and immigrant-related objects. Through April 15.

VESTERHEIM MUSEUM, Decorah. (563) 382-8828. Koselig. Discover the Norwegian secret to surviving winter in a series of immersive “living room” environments that depict a uniquely Scandinavian way of life. Through April 22. Rocks and Hard Places: Emigration Through the Lens of Knud Knudsen. This exhibit explores emigration through first-person accounts, family histories, and the stunning black and white photography of Knud Knudsen. Through September 23. Spoons: Carving. Community. This exhibit captures the spirit of the recent spoon-carving movement, showcasing historic and modern examples of spoons carved in wood and horn. Includes hands-on interactives, recorded interviews, short videos, and a carving studio. Through Nov. 4.

OLD CAPITOL MUSEUM, Iowa City. (319) 335-0546. Faces of Iowa Through the Early Lens. In the mid-1800s, Iowa City saw a boom in commercial studio photography. See rare daguerreotypes, original photography equipment, and images of early residents. Through May 20. The National Geographic Photo Ark. Joel Sartore, a world-renowned photographer, has visited 40 countries in his quest to create a photo archive of global biodiversity, which will feature portraits of an estimated 12,000 species of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. Once completed, the Photo Ark will serve as an important record of each animal’s existence and a powerful testament to the importance of saving them. Through May 20.

SCIENCE CENTER OF IOWA, 401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy., Des Moines. (515) 274-6868. Blank IMAX Dome Theatre. Watch science documentaries and Hollywood films on a six-story, dome-shaped screen. Now showing: Dinosaurs Alive, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Dream Big: Engineering Our World, and National Parks Adventure.

PUTNAM MUSEUM & SCIENCE CENTER, 1717 W. 12th St., Davenport. (563) 324-1933. Gridiron Glory. The most comprehensive traveling exhibit ever designed about football history. Fans and visitors will have access to the best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s vast holdings—including 200 artifacts, rare photos, and one-of-a-kind documents. Also featuring spectacular footage from NFL Films’ archives, a series of interactive exhibits, and a special section dedicated to the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers. Opens February 3. Air, Land & Sea. This augmented reality experience allows visitors to meet a diverse range of animals from Africa to the Arctic as they graze, drink, and interact with the environment around them. Jane. See a documentary following the story of Jane Goodall on the GIANT Screen. Get an intimate look into the world of this true pioneer of the sciences, who defied all odds and dared to go where no man had gone before. Through March 10.

BLUEDORN SCIENCE IMAGINARIUM. West 3rd and Washington,Waterloo. (319) 233-8708. Pet a 12-foot python, fire an air cannon, create your own laser show, and more. National Engineers Week 2018. Explore the world of robotics! Control your own “droid,” make your own animatronic hand, and analyze simple tasks from the point of view of a robot.​ Feb. 18–24.

LIVING HISTORY FARMS, Urbandale. (515) 278-5286. 1875 Dahl Historic Dinners at Tangen. Special-occasion meals shared family style in the dining room, followed by Victorian games in the parlor. Triskaideka Dinners. In the 1880s, a New York businessman started a “13 Club,” inviting 13 people to dinner, serving 13 dishes, and poking fun at every unlucky superstition possible. Flirt with fate, and be one of 13 guests at this feast. RSVP. Through February.

AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM OF IOWA, 55 12th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids. (319) 862-2101. If Objects Could Talk. See how everyday objects turn into invaluable historic records. Each object, photograph, and document has a story to tell about Iowa and the contributions African Americans have made to the state. Through July 27. Endless Possibilities. This interactive exhibit uses photos, objects, stories, and multimedia to trace the journey of Iowa’s African Americans—from the beauty and diversity of West Africa, to the desperate flight of freedom seekers on the Underground Railroad, to Iowa’s role in the civil rights movement and beyond. Permanent exhibit.

NATIONAL CZECH & SLOVAK MUSEUM, 1400 Inspiration Place SW, Cedar Rapids. (319) 362-8500. Cool & Collected. The museum’s collection of traditional folk crafts has expanded to include Czech and Slovak glass, porcelain, and immigrant-related objects. Through April 15.