The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us


Director of Development
UI Museum of Art
(319) 335-33-05
500 Alumni Center
Iowa City IA 52242

Release: Immediate

UI Museum of Art receives valuable gifts of art

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Recent gifts of art objects to the University of Iowa Museum of Art have enhanced its collections in several areas.

More than 90 African staffs have been given by Margaret H. Coudron of Ypsilanti, Mich., to the University of Iowa Museum of Art. Many pieces from the collection were displayed in 1994 with other items from the museum's permanent collection in the exhibition, Staffs of Life: Rods, Staffs, Scepters and Wands from the Coudron Collection of African Art. The exhibition traveled to the University of Michigan Museum of Art in 1995 and to the Minneapolis Institute of Art in 1996. A catalogue from the exhibition, Staffs of Life, was prepared and is available at the UI Museum of Art.

"This gift is extremely important to the Museum of Art," said Stephen Prokopoff, director of the museum. "The African staffs are not only beautiful, but the sheer number of them will provide our students and faculty a comprehensive and diverse collection for study."

Eugene A. and Ina L. Schnell of Tyringham, Mass., and Longboat Key, Fla., have given the museum three exquisite Peruvian textiles. Financial contributions from the couple will help underwrite the cost of a catalogue of the extensive collection of Pre-Columbian objects, which the Schnells have given to the museum over the course of a dozen years. Additional textiles that the museum will receive in the future from the Schnells' private collection also will be featured in the catalogue. Prior to making their gifts, the Schnells frequently have had their art restored by art conservators, which provides a considerable savings for the UI Museum of Art.

"Gifts of art are an important and often primary means for expanding the museum's core collections," said Susan Spray, director of development for the UI Museum of Art. "These gifts provide a wonderful resource for students and museum patrons alike."

The museum's African art collection is one of the largest of its kind in the U.S., and the UI Museum of Art also has an extensive pre-Columbian collection.

Maryette Charlton of Schooleys Mountain, N.J., has given the museum a very significant Frederick Kiesler sculpture. Charlton, a friend of Kiesler's widow, donated the work in memory of another of her friends, Leone Elliott, one of the first and most generous benefactors of the UI Museum of Art. Titled "Man and Woman Entangled in Business," the work is from Kiesler's Us-You-Me composite sculptural installation shown in the museum during the fall of 1995.

According to Stephen Prokopoff, "Kiesler was one of the great innovative spirits of this century whose work is only now beginning to attract the world-wide appreciation that it merits."

The UI Museum of Art, located at 150 North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

The University of Iowa Foundation is the preferred channel of support for private contributions, including gifts of art, to all areas of The University of Iowa. Foundation staff work with alumni and friends to provide scholarships and other forms of support for the UI.