The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024

Release: Immediate

Art of the Month series will be a mini-course at UI Museum of Art

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Art of the Month, a public mini-course presented by the University of Iowa Museum of Art, will hold the first session of its third season at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, in the museum.

Jennifer Vigil, a doctoral student in 20th-century American art, will conduct the four-series program, "Who Makes Art? The Role of Scholars, Anthropologists and Ethnographers in Appropriating and Labeling Non-Western Aesthetic Objects." Vigil will be assisted by Brenda Molife, a doctoral student in African art history.

The remaining sessions will be once a month, at 10 a.m. Saturdays, Oct. 18, Nov. 15 and Dec. 13. Participation in the course is free of charge.

The course will examine ways in which non-western art has been incorporated into western museums, and the effect western scholarship has had on the interpretation and presentation of the art works. Throughout the series pieces from the museum's extensive collection of African, Oceanic, Native American and Pre-Columbian art will serve as examples in discussing how museums have treated such works

The first session will focus primarily on the history of scholarship in dealing with non-Western aesthetic objects, and it will provide an overview of the entire course. Particular attention will be paid to the transformation of the objects from anthropological artifacts to works of art worthy of exhibition.

According to Vigil, at one time scholars would have considered many works in the museum's collection to be appropriate only for a museum of anthropology or archaeology. "We want to look at the way that historically these objects have been preserved or collected, and what disciplines have taken the lead in interpreting them as art," Vigil said.

Later sessions in the course will focus on cultural aesthetics, tourism and marketing, and the future of non-Western art in Western museums.

Articles relevant to each session will be placed on reserve in the Art Library at the School of Art History and in the Member's Lounge of the museum. Participants are encouraged to read the articles prior to each session.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free.