UI Stanley Museum of Art celebrates ‘Homecoming’ with grand opening

University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art in Iowa City
University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art in Iowa City(Becky Phelps, KCRG)
Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 10:15 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - After years of hard work, the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art is back open in it’s new building, and its extensive art collection is home for the first time in 14 years. The museum had to close and its art was scattered after the Iowa river flooded in 2008.

It’s inaugural exhibition is fittingly titled ‘Homecoming.’

The state of the art $50 million building is located next to the UI Main Library and Gibson Square Park, and its three-stories include spaces for research, education, and exhibitions. Hundreds of people stood in line Friday afternoon, eager to get a look inside. To celebrate this opening weekend, University faculty, staff, students and more gathered for a dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting.

“What we really want this facility to be is an education center for K-12 children, students across the state,” said University of Iowa president Barb Wilson. “So, you know, a bold goal will be could we get every third grader in Iowa into this facility to spend a moment thinking about the transformational effects of art on society?”

One of the star attractions at the museum is Jackson Pollock’s Mural. Commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim, the leading dealer of modern art in New York in the 1940′s, it was later gifted to the university and put on display in 1951. For the past nine years, Mural has traveled to museums across America and Europe in a planned tour and seen by more than 2 million people across the word, but now it’s finally home in Iowa City. Mural marks a pivotal moment in Pollock’s career, and Museum Director Lauren Lessing says it holds a lesson she hopes will impact visitors. “He left telling stories behind, and he leapt into pure abstraction with this painting. And I think for that reason, Peggy Guggenheim gave it to a university when she decided to go back to Europe because she recognized that that’s what universities are all about, is encouraging students to take that same kind of leap,” says Lessing.

Friday’s dedication is just the beginning of the celebrations. All this weekend people can come to the Stanley Museum of Art and enjoy guided tours, musical performances, and art stations. You can find more information about this weekend’s events here.