The Legacy Collection: Farm Life in Iowa

Jan. 20 through March 18

Farm Life in Iowa is an exhibition of thirty photographs taken by A. M. “Pete” Wettach (1901–1976). Wettach’s photos documented rural existence from 1925 to 1960—thirty-five of the most revolutionary years for farming as a way of life in Iowa. Working as a freelance photographer based in Mount Pleasant, Wettach recorded changes in farming practices while honoring the values of family and self-sufficiency. Wettach’s unique interpretation of the family farm comes from his documentary style and keen compassion for his subjects.

For many, the family farm is more than just a nostalgic icon. Almost four out of ten Americans have at some point in their lives lived or worked on a farm, and half have friends or relatives who were farmers. For Iowans, who live in a state where eighty percent of the land is still farmed, Wettach’s photographs are invaluable historic records and part of a common visual memory linking the past to the present.

The exhibit runs from Jan. 20 through March 18. It will be open every day of the week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Regular museum admission is required. Members of the Hoover Presidential Foundation are always admitted free.


This exhibition is organized by Legacies for Iowa: A University of Iowa Museum of Art Collections-Sharing Project, Supported by the Matthew Bucksbaum Family.