About Beaux Arts
The Beaux Arts Fairs are Downtown Davenport's premier art festivals! The shows are juried to ensure the finest quality, and a variety of arts and crafts will be available for your personal perusal. No admission fee!
The fairs are held on the Bechtel Plaza of the Figge Art Museum in the fall and cascade onto 2nd Street in the spring with a view of the Mississippi River. This spacious area accommodates daily crowds of 5,000. You will also find a children's activity area sponsored by the Figge, musical entertainment, and food vendors. Enjoy the riverfront farmers' market, eclectic restaurants, and many small businesses of the downtown area. Admire the awe-inspiring architecture of the Figge Art Museum and enjoy free admission to the museum during the Fairs. Don't miss an opportunity to find something truly unique for your collection.
This year marks the 65th Anniversary for the Beaux Arts Fundraising Committee. The committee was incorporated in 1953 to support the Davenport Art Gallery, then located on 12th Street. The Beaux Arts Costume Balls were used as the fund-raising event for many years. Through the years, the Beaux Arts Fundraising Committee purchased and donated items to the museum's collections. Many well-known area artists were listed as initial members, including Isabel Bloom, and her husband, John, both students of Grant Wood. The Isabel Bloom Handcrafted Sculpture factory and showroom continue to produce concrete statuary with artisans who have adopted techniques developed by Isabel Bloom.
The fair was established in 1967, making the Beaux Arts Fair one of the longest-running art fairs in the Midwest. Fair attendance and artist participation expanded on a yearly basis. In 1970, to celebrate the new Wiese addition, the Beaux Arts Fundraising Committee started up a second fair, making them one of the few bi-annual art fairs to exist. The fairs are held annually on Mother's Day weekend, kicking off the season of outdoor summer events. The second fair is held annually on the weekend after Labor Day.
In May of 2001, the Beaux Arts moved the fairs downtown while the new Figge Art Museum, was being built. In September 2008, the fairs moved back to the museum grounds. The Beaux Arts Fundraising committee continues to donate all proceeds from the fairs to the Figge Art Museum for programs and exhibitions.