Gaze up at the emblematic golden dome that tops the roof of a historic building containing the region’s cultural gems.
The Old Capitol Museum offers an intriguing glimpse into the region’s artistic and cultural history. The exhibits are held in the University of Iowa’s Old Capitol building, whose dome is an iconic part of the college’s emblem. Learn about Iowa’s rich tradition of humanities and art in this extensive museum.
Relax on the lawn outside the building and snap photos of its imposing columns and pediment. At the structure’s summit is a charming cupola, which hoists the golden dome.
Browse the range of fascinating displays in the traveling exhibitions that pass through here. Make your way through the galleries for an insight into the museum’s various themes. The Hanson Humanities Gallery on the ground floor displays excavated tools and primitive works of art among other subjects.
Explore the Keyes Gallery for Arts, Humanities and Sciences for its array of temporary exhibits. Book in advance to arrange a free guided tour. Speak with the docents about the context behind the works and displays.
Climb to the second floor for the majestic Senate Chamber, where many public events, gatherings, music recitals and lectures take place. Continue up the reverse-spiral staircase to reach the second-floor rotunda, another grandiose space for traveling displays and events. The wooden Corinthian pillars that adorn this room are a rare example of the structure’s initial woodwork.
Note that free guided tours take place hourly. Admission is free to the museum, which opens from morning until late afternoon, Tuesday through Saturday. On Sundays, it opens in the afternoon.
The Old Capitol Museum is on the northwestern tip of the downtown area of Iowa City. It stands in the center of the University of Iowa campus. Visit other attractions in the district, including the Iowa Museum of Natural History, the Old Post Office and the Jacob Wentz House.