"Save the Pollock" group on Facebook

Tom Nixon, an Iowan living in Minnesota and attending graduate school, has created a Facebook group "Save the Jackson Pollock." Tom talks about how he feels about selling the Pollock on his blog here. He also gives a link to the Facebook group -- so if you're on facebook, join up!

Also, more coverage of the regents' request for a study on the potential sale of the Jackson Pollock:

A Local Row blog
The Art Law blog

Before the Pollock uproar...

Wow, what a week last week was! With all the coverage of the regents requesting a study to assess the worth of the Pollock, the Wednesday media tour of Art Building West and the Museum of Art was a bit overshadowed. But in case you missed it, here are some links to the coverage:

The Des Moines Register
The Press-Citizen and here
The Gazette

To summarize: The past couple weeks, the University of Iowa has been leading the media through some of the flood damaged buildings, giving everyone a chance to see how the cleanup is progressing and ask questions. Last Wednesday, UIMA Interim Director Pamela White joined UI School of Art and Art History Professor Steve McGuire to lead the media through the Museum of Art (UIMA) and Art Building West (ABW), respectively. Jane Meyer, senior associate director of athletics, who has been on loan to UI Facilities Management to oversee the UI's building-by-building post-flood cleanup efforts, and Ann Rosenthal, a senior engineer with UI Facilities Management, joined them.

Ann stressed that the major difference between the arts campus buildings and the other buildings the media has toured, such as Becker Communications Building, the English-Philosophy Building, and Adler Journalism Building, is that the damage to the arts campus was much worse. There was more water inside the buildings -- 4-6 feet in the case of ABW -- and it took longer for the buildings to be accessible. So, the future of the arts campus is still quite unknown. "We don't have all the deadlines. We don't know how this is going to come through with insurance and FEMA," said Jane Meyer (pictured below in ABW).
Steve McGuire talked a bit about how art and art history students will be affected. Most of the studio art classes will be held in the old Menards building out on Highway 1, and art history classes will be in various locations throughout campus (mostly in Seashore Hall). Buses have been arranged to take students out to the old Menards, and class schedules have been altered to make time for transport.
Above: The inside of ABW, completely stripped down. Below: Two pictures of the outside, where you can see just how high the water was. Ann Rosenthal said that there some debate about whether the water marks should be left on the building. Some people think it should be restored to its original state, while others believe that the flood is now a part of the history of the building, and as such its marks should remain. What do you think?
Pam White (pictured below) talked about how the Museum will be striving to have a presence on campus this fall by holding events and exhibitions in alternate locations and potentially touring parts of the collection to other Iowa museums. Plenty going on nowadays!


Pollock Furor

Yesterday at a Board of Regents meeting (this board is appointed by the governor to oversee the state-run universities -- UI, ISU, UNI), Regent Michael Gartner requested a study of the worth of the UIMA's famed Jackson Pollock Mural, below. The Iowa City Press-Citizen broke the story, and Pam White, the UIMA interim director, director of the Pentacrest Museums, a lawyer who teaches the class "Art Law and Ethics," and head of Museum Studies at the UI, spent the better part of her afternoon talking to other members of the local press to explain some of the very complicated issues surrounding such a decision. If you haven't seen the stories from today's paper, you might want to check them out: Des Moines Register, The Gazette, Corridorbuzz.com.

We've also gotten quite a bit of attention nationally. There was an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, and two quite prominent arts bloggers are on the case: Tyler Green of Modern Art Notes, and Lee Rosenbaum of the Culture Grrl blog. (You might remember Tyler Green from his interview right after the flood with Pam. Lee Rosenbaum has written extensively about other museum's struggles to hold on to their collections.)

This news comes right on the heels of a great article on the rescuing of the Pollock by Michael Judge in the Wall Street Journal a little over a week ago.

If you are interested, the American Association of Museums has guidelines for museum ethics, standards and best practices, and a list of accredited museums on its website. (The UIMA would lose its accreditation if the Pollock was sold to pay for flood damages.)

We're curious to hear what you think about this issue. Post a comment (instructions here) and let us know, eh?


Michael Judge on the Pollock

Just wanted to make sure you all saw Michael Judge’s great article on the Museum and the saving of the Pollock in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal. Here's the first paragraph:

"There's nothing here but a few two-by-fours attached to a massive expanse of drywall. Then I see it, a small white plaque with black lettering that reads 'Jackson Pollock / American, 1912-1956 / Mural 1943 / Oil on Canvas . . .' "

Click here to read the full story.