Perry Kiwanians glimpse grotesques at home and abroad

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Granville Williams, left, board member of Grotesques in Des Moines Inc., and Jan Fleming, center, author of "Grotesques in Des Moines . . . Iowa and Abroad," were welcomed to the weekly Perry Kiwanis Club luncheon by President Elect Tricia Steffen. Photograph courtesy Perry Kiwanis Secretary Doug Wood

On Tuesday the Perry Kiwanis met for their weekly noon luncheon and meeting at the Hotel Pattee. The Kiwanis welcomed Granville Williams, board member of Grotesques in Des Moines Inc., and Jan Fleming, author of “Grotesques in Des Moines . . . Iowa and Abroad.”

A grotesque adorns the Polk County Courthouse. Photo courtesy Jan Fleming
Twenty-eight grotesques adorn the Polk County Courthouse. Photo courtesy Jan Fleming

Fleming shared her passion and interest in gargoyles, grotesques, and green men, which are the carvings of faces and figures that can be found near the top of many older buildings (both outside and inside) in Iowa and abroad. Some of these Des Moines area buildings include the Masonic Temple, the Equitable Building, Roosevelt High School, Lincoln High School, the Polk County Courthouse and Iowa State Capitol.

Fleming shared her concern that if not preserved, many of these carvings will deteriorate. She has written two books on the subject, sales of which benefit the Drake Fine Arts Scholarship program

Granville discussed his background and how he came to serve on the board of Gotesques in Des Moines Inc.

Perry Kiwanis Club President Elect Tricia Steffen, a Perry Kiwanian since Dec. 16, 2011, welcomed the visitors to the weekly meeting.

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