The State Historical Museum of Iowa will offer a variety of programs and activities next month, ranging from bicycling and collection tours to new programs, a youth art display and an exhibit about Walter Haskell Hinton, the artist who created some of John Deere’s most iconic images.

A list of programs and activities offered at the State Historical Museum during March follows:

Spring Break Pedalpalooza

March 17-21

9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Free

Gear up for the bicycling season by taking a guided tour of the "Riding Through History: A River-to-River Legacy on Wheels" exhibit, check out bicycles from various vendors, and learn about bicycle care, family-friendly rides and bicycle safety. Partners for Spring Break Pedalpalooza include RAGBRAI® and Register Media, All Ability Cycles, Bike World, Des Moines Bicycle Collective, Des Moines Police Department, Ichi Bike and Kyle’s Bikes. Activities and exhibitors vary daily.

Spring Break Historical Museum Vault Tours

March 17-21

11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Free

Museum staff will highlight artifacts in the State Historical Museum’s permanent collection, which is kept in the climate-controlled storage vault beneath the State Historical Building when not on exhibit. Featured artifacts on the tour will include Floppy from the Duane Ellett collection and recent acquisitions of the puppets Katrina Crocodile and Gregory Lion from WOI-TV’s program "The House with the Magic Window" hosted by Betty Lou Varnum December 1954-February 1994.

Walter Haskell Hinton: Image Maker for Deere

March 14-July 18

9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mon-Sat

Noon-4:30 p.m. Sun

Free

In 1934, artist Walter Haskell Hinton painted his first calendar image for Deere & Company, the first of many commissions over the next 20 years. Hinton created an ideal world where the sun shines on perfect fields of corn and the smiling family gathers around its new helpmate, the green John Deere tractor. At a time when tractors were replacing teams of horses, Hinton’s work humanized the new machinery and conveyed a vision of the new farm, where modern technology enabled the farmer to work less and earn more. The exhibition will include iconic works from the Deere & Company collection, such as "Boy with Tractor," examples of printed materials using Hinton’s images, and lesser-known works such as his 12-panel biography of John Deere. Originally created as a calendar, this painted biography portrays Deere’s invention and production of the modern plow as a key element in the taming of the American West and the fulfillment of the country’s "Manifest Destiny." All paintings and printed materials in the exhibition are courtesy of the John Deere Art Collection. The exhibition is organized by the Figge Art Museum, Davenport.

Youth Art Month

March 1-31

9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Free

Youth Art Month is held each year in March to emphasize the value of artistic expression for youth and encourage support for quality art education programs. In March, nearly 250 works of art, created by some of Iowa’s best student artists, will be on display at the State Historical Museum in the second floor exhibit gallery.

Irish Jam

March 22

1-3 p.m.

Free

The Museum invites musicians to join an Irish Jam and play their favorite tunes 1-3 p.m. on March 22 under the State Historical Museum’s atrium staircase. Old-time and traditional music will be featured, and all music lovers are welcome to listen while enjoying the exhibits.

Saturday Museum Trek

Saturdays, March 15 & 22

11 a.m.

Free

Get up close and personal with artifacts in a different Museum exhibit every Saturday. Appropriate for all ages and free.

· March 15: "You Gotta Know the Territory" – How did the Iowa Territory grow from 22,859 inhabitants in 1838 to statehood and a population of 192,213 by 1850?

· March 22: "Iowa and the Civil War: Nothing but Victory" – Why did 76,000 young Iowa men volunteer to go off to war?

The State Historical Museum is a bureau of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and is located at 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. Hours are 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mon-Sat and noon-4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free and open to the public. Call 515-281-5111 or visit www.iowahistory.org for more information.