Iowa Alumni Magazine | April 2009 | People

Home Away from Home

By IAM Staff
The UI Museum of Art collection returns to Iowa.

After nearly a year in storage, the UI Museum of Art's collection is back home in the Hawkeye State. Displays across campus and at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport this spring allow art that had been locked away in Chicago after this past summer's floods to be restored to Iowa for art lovers to enjoy.

The UI Libraries' Special Collections had already provided a home since this past October for nearly 250 works of art. Now, the Levitt Center for University Advancement and the Iowa Memorial Union also host parts of the UIMA's collection. The Levitt Center's Stanley Gallery features African art donated to the UIMA by the gallery's namesakes, Maxwell, 26BSE, 30MS, and Elizabeth Stanley, 27BA [both deceased]. The IMU's Black Box Theater will also hold a variety of pieces starting this autumn, and an emergency flood assistance grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities will help transform the IMU's Richey Ballroom into an art gallery by this fall.

The Figge Art Museum, located an hour from campus, began featuring the majority of the UIMA's collection this month. It also provides storage and office space to the UIMA free of charge. The partnership includes free admission to the Figge for UI students, faculty, staff, and UIMA donors.

Local alumni can visit the Figge at a UI Alumni Association Lifelong Learning event on April 19 that will include a reception, presentations, and tours with members of the UI School of Art and Art History. For details, visit Art lovers can also see a UIMA traveling exhibit that includes Jackson Pollock's "Mural" at the Des Moines Art Center this fall and nationwide beginning in 2010.

Like the IMU and Levitt Center, the Figge Art Museum serves as a temporary home for the art until the UIMA can find and move into a new, permanent location. "We, of course, look forward to the day when we can bring the collection home to the university," says UI President Sally Mason. "But, until then, it makes sense that these treasures be on display for the public to view, and especially in one of Iowa's most beautiful riverfront art museums."