American Enterprise Group’s Architecture + Art: AEG Open House

August 6, 2015  |   Events
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Des Moines, IA: American Enterprise Group is showcasing its newly renovated mid-century modern building and extensive contemporary art collection with a public open house. The event is scheduled for Sunday, August 9 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The building and art park is located in downtown Des Moines at 601 Sixth Avenue. Art docents and informational handouts will be available. It is the first time in nearly 20 years that the building and the art collection that graces its floors are open to the general public.

AEG Building and Pomodoro Sphere within a Sphere Sculpture-525px

The eight-story American Enterprise headquarters is designed by renowned American architect Gordon Bunshaft, a leading proponent of modern design in the mid-twentieth century.

This corporate headquarters is a mid-1960s "muscular rendition" of an integrated systems building. The space planning concept of fixed work stations provides window views to many workers with the provate offices located near the core. Originaly, a metal "stabile" by sculptor Alexander Calder was displayed in the entry court (it was replaced by Amaldo Pomodoro's 1999 bronze "Sphere Within a Sphere") — a fine modern art collection complements the interior.
This corporate headquarters is a mid-1960s “muscular rendition” of an integrated systems building. The space planning concept of fixed work stations provides window views to many workers with the provate offices located near the core. Originaly, a metal “stabile” by sculptor Alexander Calder was displayed in the entry court (it was replaced by Amaldo Pomodoro’s 1999 bronze “Sphere Within a Sphere”) — a fine modern art collection complements the interior.

The building, completed 50 years ago, has been nominated for international architectural significance and is in the final stage of being added to the National Register of Historic Places. The federal designation will signify national recognition of the building’s historic and architectural significance.

"Landscape Piece #1" was created in 1965 by Dale Eldred (American, 1933-1993). Photo by King Au
“Landscape Piece #1” was created in 1965 by Dale Eldred (American, 1933-1993). Photo by King Au
For more information: Eldred

The building and the adjacent sculpture art park is home to the company’s large contemporary art collection. The art collection started in the 1960s as a way to enliven the building’s simplistic modern design and to inspire an innovative work environment.

The open house event allows the public access to specific floors of the renovated building and to the majority of the newly reinstalled art collection of nearly 400 pieces by Andy Warhol, Claus Oldenberg, Michael Pavlosky, Frank Gardner, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Ivan Chermayeff, Peter Chinni, Jack Youngerman, John Salt, Jean Arp, among others.

“Construction”  by Ivan Chermayeff (American, b. London, England 1932) is a wall with painted steel components commissioned in 1971.
“Construction” by Ivan Chermayeff (American, b. London, England 1932) is a wall with painted steel components commissioned in 1971.


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Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation

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