Over $150,000 raised for UIMA at The Museum PartY!

What a great night! More than 200 guests attending The Museum PartY! on Saturday, Oct. 24 demonstrated their support for the Museum by raising over $150,000 for the UIMA's 2010 programs, events, and exhibitions. In keeping with the year-long celebration of the UIMA's 40th anniversary, Abigail Foerstner's new book, Building a Masterpiece: Legacy of the University of Iowa Museum of Art, made its debut. These friends of the Museum mingled (see the photo slide show above!), enjoyed wonderful hors d'oeuvres, and danced to the music of local favorite, The Recliners. Honorary chair for this year's PartY! was Joyce P. Summerwill and the event chair was Kristin Hardy.

A special thanks to our PartY! Sponsors and Hosts who helped make this event possible:

Thank you to our PartY! Sponsors: James P. Hayes and Rohrbach Associates P.C. Architects.

Thank you to our PartY! Hosts: Alan and Liz Swanson; Curt and Sharman Hunter; Gerald and Leesa Elseman; H. Dee and Myrene Hoover; Hodge Construction Company-Old Capitol Mall; Kristin Summerwill; Lowell Doud; Margaret C. Clancy; McComas-Lacina Construction Company; Neumann-Monson Architects; Oaknoll Retirement Residence; Phelan, Tucker, Mullen, Walker, Tucker, & Gelman, L.L.P.; Pleasant Valley Flower Shoppe; Rob & Paulina Muzzin; and Shive-Hattery, Architecture-Engineering.

--Claire Lekwa, UIMA Marketing and Media Assistant


UIMA staff members' thoughts on Pollock theory

Jackson Pollock, Mural, 1943, oil on canvas, 19' 10" x 8' 1"
Gift of Peggy Guggenheim, copyright 1959 UIMA

Jackson Pollock's ever-intriguing Mural (above), part of the UIMA's permanent collection, finds itself at the center of another debate online and in the paper. In an article from Smithsonian magazine's October 2009 issue, art historian Henry Adams, professor at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio and author of the upcoming book, Tom and Jack: The Intertwined Lives of Thomas Hart Benton and Jackson Pollock, claims that the artist composed the work around the letters of his name, hidden within the painting's vibrant swirls.

Three UIMA staff members give their responses to the theory here on the UIMA "Art Matters" blog:

"Jackson Pollock wrote his name on Mural once, in the bottom left corner. He dated it, too. One of the significant aspects of Pollock’s Mural is the fact that it doesn’t reference the physical, external world. Many claim to see the human form, people dancing or some sort of stampede; the stampede imagery is derived from a quote by Pollock himself, but he was speaking metaphorically. Whatever people see, or think they see, says more about them than the Pollock masterpiece, and it seems to serve as an upscale Rorschach test for some. Like all great works of art, Mural takes time to reveal itself to the viewer. To turn it into a “circle-a-word” puzzle that you can find in any newspaper is to do a disservice to the work, as well as yourself."
 -Dale Fisher, UIMA Director of Education
"People seem to be uncomfortable looking at abstract art without trying to impose literal images on its surface.  Pollock himself called the painting a herd of thundering animals—but we are pretty sure he meant this metaphorically.  For me, I just can’t see the painting being about his name.  And, I think that limits the painting’s possibilities.  It is for me a limitless, all-encompassing image that completely envelops you as you look at it—I like the feeling of being submerged in the painted surface and have no need to try to find quantifiable images."
-Pamela White, UIMA Interim Director
"(The theory) is reflective, I think, of what people think about when they look at that painting. Maybe some people think it's there for some reason and they are driven to find something that's literal to them, to make sense of it...I'm not going to say that it's completely out of the question."
 -Kathy Edwards, UIMA Chief Curator, quoted by The Gazette

You can read The Gazette's recent coverage of the question here:
The story has been picked up by many online art news sources as well. Here are links to a few of them:

The debate continues on the UIMA's Facebook page. Contribute to the discussion by adding "Iowa Art" as a friend and commenting there or posting your comments here on the blog.

You can see Mural to decide for yourself in the exhibit, A Legacy for Iowa: Pollock's Mural and Modern Masterworks from the University of Iowa Museum of Art, on display at the Figge Art Museum, 225 West Second St., Davenport, Iowa until Dec. 31.

--Claire Lekwa, UIMA Marketing and Media Assistant