The Quad Cities Museum Alliance

In honor of Quad Cities Museum Week, we’re looking back at previous collaborations by area museums, galleries, and other historical & cultural institutions.

12 major area museums and art galleries got together in 1986 to form the Quad Cities Museum Alliance. Mike Smith, director of the Putnam Museum, saw a “strong need” for cultural attractions to work together, publicize what they offer, and bring more public awareness and tourism.

The alliance organized a Museum Weekend on October 4-5, 1986. Participants could clip their “Adventure Passport” from the newspaper and get it stamped by visiting each location. They also celebrated Quad City Museum Day “Spring Into Summer” on May 30, 1987.

These images are from the informational booklet published by the alliance.


The Bettendorf Museum was established in 1974 at the former Washington School, 533 16th Street, as a city history museum. They added interactive children’s exhibits in 1985 and changed its name to The Children’s Museum in 1985. They later merged with the Lincoln Center for the Cultural Arts and changed the name to the Family Museum of Arts & Sciences. The Family Museum opened its current facility at the Learning Campus on March 2, 1997.

The Putnam Museum began as the Davenport Academy of Sciences in 1867. Read more about its history here.

Art Galleries

The Davenport Municipal Art Gallery opened in 1924 and became the Figge Art Museum in 2005. Read more about its history here.

The Catich Gallery at the Galvin Fine Arts Center at St. Ambrose College opened in 1985. They continue to host contemporary art exhibits featuring the work of regional and national artists as well as faculty and seniors graduating with honors. You can learn more about its history here.

Augustana College

Centennial Hall Gallery is part of the Augustana Teaching Museum of Art.

The Fryxell Geology Museum is currently closed for summer break. You can learn more about its history here.

Arsenal Island

The Rock Island Arsenal Museum is currently closed for renovation. You can read more about its history here.

The Mississippi River Visitor Center, maintained & operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is located at Lock & Dam 15. Find out more information here.

The Colonel Davenport Home is one of the sites featured in this year’s Quad Cities Museum Week. You can read more about its history here.

Parks & Zoos

Read more about the history of Vander Veer Greenhouse & Conservatory at Vander Veer Botanical Park here.

Read more about the history of Fejervary Park & Zoo here.

Read more about the history of Niabi Zoo here.

Thirty-six years later and our local museums, galleries, and similar institutions are still working together. Today, you can check out Community Experience Passes for the Putnam Museum, the Figge Art Museum, Niabi Zoo, the German-American Heritage Center, the Buffalo Bill Museum, the Quad City Botanical Center, The River Music Experience, and the Quad City Symphony Orchestra from any Davenport Public Library location.

(posted by Cristina)


  • Arpy, Jim. “Take a passport to Q-C adventure,” Quad-City Times, October 2, 1986 p. Go! 2
  • Arpy, Jim. “Everything from mummies to Dada,” Quad-City Times, March 29, 1987 p. 4J

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