That's about the best word to sum up what's going on right now at the UIMA. Most of the permanent collection galleries are still empty, as we work to get everything together for our stellar reinstallation that is slated to be completed mid-summer. In the mean time, you can still see most of the works you love (Grant Wood's Plaid Sweater, Picasso's Flower Vase on a Table, Chagall's The Blue Horse, Matisse's Blue Interior with Two Girls, etc.) if you mosey on back to the North Gallery -- that's the one that usually has our big temporary exhibitions. There, you will find a special exhibition called "European and American works from the Collection." It's centered around the return of our Max Beckmann 1943 triptych, Carnival (pictured below), which had been on loan to a couple museums in Europe for a Beckmann show. More info online here, including the press release.We've also got a couple great shows opening May 9: MFA 2008 and The Power of Line: European and American Prints from the Lee Collection. MFA 2008 is our annual showcase of work by UI School of Art and Art History Masters of Fine Arts graduates. This year there's a large group -- more than 30 -- who are eligible to be in the show. We should know in the next couple weeks exactly who you can expect to see, but one thing is guaranteed -- it will be interesting! Check out this story from the Daily Iowan about last year's show, or this one from two years ago.

The Power of Line is a show that was guest curated by UI Professor of Art History Joni Kinsey and her museums class last semester. The prints (the one below is The Veil (Honeysuckle) by Frederick Warren Freer, 1887) are drawn from the collection of Debra Gabrielson Lee and Thomas Lee, which they donated in 2006 to the Museum. The show examines the work of several well known American etchers, including Thomas Moran, Henry Farrer, Charles Adams Platt, and Mary Nimmo Moran, who worked during the American Etching Revival of the 19th Century. These artists looked at printmaking in a new way—drawing inspiration from artists such as the American-born, British-based James Whistler, they used their etchings not only to depict a specific place, but also to evoke a feeling or mood. It should be a good show!

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