Did you know the sculpture in the Agronomy Courtyard was created by artist Beverly Pepper and is officially called "Janus Agri Altar?" Created in 1986, the bronze sculpture was commissioned by University Museums.
From the artist
When Iowa State University asked me to do a work on the site of the Agricultural Building [now Agronomy Hall], they suggested that the sculpture reflect the agricultural business in some way. Using the iconography of farm tools, Janus Agri Altar evolved into what I consider to be a seminal piece.
After nearly three years, portraits of all nine past department chairs have been installed in Agronomy Hall. The portraits span 117 years of history dating back to when the department was first established in 1902. Artist Liza Amir did an incredible job bringing these men to life, in most cases never having met them. She used historical photos alone to paint five of them but met and photographed Dr. Pesek, Dr. Cantrell and Dr. Fales in person. The same three portraits were installed first and the past chairs were invited to attend their unveiling in 2016. Then portraits were completed and installed in historical order. Commissioned by University Museums and the Department, the portraits are part of the Art on Campus collection.