Museums & Science Centers: Female Characters in Fiction at the Putnam

Stunning paintings by Joža Uprka document folk life in Southern Moravia. See them at the National Czech and Slovak Museum through March 24.

NATIONAL CZECH & SLOVAK MUSEUM, 1400 Inspiration Place SW, Cedar Rapids. (319) 362-8500. National Treasure: The Art of Joža Uprka from the George Drost Collection. The first U.S. exhibition of artwork by Joža Uprka (1861–1940) includes stunning oil paintings, posters, and mixed media on loan from the George Drost Collection. Joža Uprka’s work combined elements of Romanticism and Art Nouveau to document folk life in Southern Moravia. Through March 24.

Literary Heroines at the Putnam Museum looks at costumes that would have been worn by strong female characters in fiction.

PUTNAM MUSEUM & SCIENCE CENTER, 1717 W. 12th St., Davenport. (563) 324-1933. Literary Heroines. This exhibit examines strong female characters in fiction, showcasing clothing, accessories, and objects similar to those worn and used by the heroines of Pride & Prejudice, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Jane Eyre, Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, the Little House on the Prairie series, Like Water for Chocolate, The Atomic City Girls, To Kill a Mockingbird, the Harry Potter series, and many more. Air, Land & Sea. This augmented reality experience allows visitors to meet a range of animals from Africa to the Artic as they graze, drink, and interact with the environment around them. Permanent exhibit. Race: We Are So Different. Through science, history, and cultural study, the Putnam’s newest exhibit encourages visitors to explore human variation and its impact.

VESTERHEIM MUSEUM, Decorah. (563) 382-8828. Christian Midjo: Choose Your Own Artventure. Christian Midjo’s work stands out for his highly distinctive style. Various tours explore his paintings from different perspectives: Art for History Lovers, Art for Art Lovers, How to Look at Art, and Midjo in His Own Words. Through April 21. The Museum Lab. An innovative new exhibit invites visitors to shape Vesterheim’s future by testing new exhibits, tours, classes, and programs in their early stages of development.

LIVING HISTORY FARMS, 11121 Hickman Rd., Urbandale. (515) 278-5286. Living History Farms is an interactive, 500-acre outdoor museum. 1875 Dahl Historic Dinner at Tangen. Stroll along a lamp-lit boardwalk to the cozy 1875 Tangen House. Sip spiced punch next to the parlor fireplace while a host shares stories of Victorian life. Savor a multiple course meal in the refined dining room as historical interpreters serve dinner. After dinner, gather for lighthearted parlor games. RSVP. Through Feb. 24. 1900 Farm Dinners. A horse-drawn wagon carries guests to the farmhouse, where they’ll enjoy a hearty home-cooked meal by the warmth of the stove, served family-style by historical interpreters. Visitors can take a guided lantern-lit trip to the historic barn, built in 1889, or stay inside and read the 1895 Montgomery Ward catalog and play a game of checkers. RSVP. Through March 2019. Flynn Mansion Dinners. Dinner guests experience the high-style a la Russe dining of the late 19th century and enjoy the high Victorian dining room atmosphere and multiple courses. Kitchen and serving staff offer tips for navigating the many forks and spoons laid out at each place setting, and share their expertise about the recipes and ingredients of a Victorian celebration meal. RSVP. March 2–30.

SALISBURY HOUSE, 4025 Tonawanda Dr., Des Moines. While the remarkable architecture at Salisbury House may be the first thing to draw in visitors, Salisbury is also home to important collections of rare books, fine art, decorative art, musical instruments, and more. Permanent exhibit.

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. Brick by Brick. Discover your inner builder in this exhibit pairing giant LEGO-built structures with hands-on building challenges. View 10 models constructed by LEGO Certified Professional Adam Reed Tucker. Permanent.

PUTNAM MUSEUM & SCIENCE CENTER, 1717 W. 12th St., Davenport. (563) 324-1933. Literary Heroines. This new exhibit examines strong female characters in fiction and will showcase clothing, accessories, and objects similar to those worn and used by the heroines of Pride & Prejudice, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Jane Eyre, Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, the Little House on the Prairie series, Like Water for Chocolate, The Atomic City Girls, To Kill a Mockingbird, the Harry Potter series, and many more. Air, Land & Sea. This augmented reality experience allows visitors to meet a range of animals from Africa to the Artic as they graze, drink, and interact with the environment around them. Permanent exhibit.

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.

GERMAN AMERICAN HERITAGE CENTER, 712 W. 2nd St., Davenport. (563) 322-8844.

RICHARD L. PROENNEKE MUSEUM, Donnellson Public Library, 411 Main St., Donnellson. RichardProenneke.com. Visit a museum dedicated to American naturalist and adventurer Richard Proenneke (born in Primrose, Iowa, 1916). View artifacts, items, photos, and objects used or collected during the time Richard lived alone in a cabin he built by hand in Twin Lakes, Alaska. Permanent exhibit.

AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM OF IOWA, 55 12th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids. (319) 862-2101. Driven By Hope. Take a closer look at African American migration to Iowa—from the end of the Civil War to the Great Depression. Gain a deeper understanding of the economic, social, and political issues of the American South that pushed African Americans north and the issues migrants faced when establishing themselves in Iowa. Through August 2, 2019. 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.

GROUT MUSEUM, 503 South St., Waterloo. (319) 234-6357.  From Bach to Rock. Explore Cedar Valley music from the early 20th century through current times. Learn about the Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony, Tic Toc Lounge, big bands of the 1940s Electric Park Ballroom, and more. Through March 16. Sulkies to Speedways: The Need for Speed in the Cedar Valley. Through November 2019. Planetarium Shows. Saturdays, 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. & 3 p.m. through May.

OLD CAPITOL MUSEUM, 21 N. Clinton, Iowa City. (319) 335-0546. Project Passenger Pigeon. The year 2014 marked the 100 anniversary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon, which numbered in the billions in 1800. In the Hanson Humanities Gallery. Humanize My Hoodie. Gain insight into the lives and experiences of black people the the societal biases they must navigate daily. The exhibit seeks to dismantle the stigma associated with clothing. April 1-28.

BRUCEMORE MANSION, 2160 Linden Dr. SE, Cedar Rapids. (319) 362-7375.

HERBERT HOOVER LIBRARY & MUSEUM, 210 Parkside Dr., West Branch. (319) 643-5301.

NATIONAL MISSISSIPPI RIVER MUSEUM, 350 E. Third St., Port of Dubuque. (563) 557-9545.

UNIVERSITY OF IOWA LIBRARIES, 100 Main Library, Iowa City. (319) 335-5299.

THE THEATRE MUSEUM OF REPERTOIRE AMERICANA. 405 E. Threshers Rd., Mount Pleasant. (319) 385-9432. This seasonal museum is dedicated to the preservation of memorabilia and artifacts of early repertoire theater. The collection includes painted curtains and scenic pieces; costumes and equipment; playbills, show cards, and advertising sheets; and an extensive research library of rare scripts, correspondence, production photos, and other original source materials. Of special interest is the large collection of videotaped interviews with actual “troupers” describing their professional and personal experiences. Wed.–Sat. through Labor Day, or by appointment.

VICTORIAN HOME & CARRIAGE HOUSE MUSEUM, 308 W 3rd St., Cedar Falls. (319) 266-5149.