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Release: Immediate

UI Museum of Art will host 'Art to Enchant' symposium on fairies April 3-5

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Museum of Art will host "Art to Enchant," a free symposium on the representation of fairies in painting, literature, theater and music April 3-5 in the museum and other locations on the UI campus.

The public symposium will coincide with the museum's current exhibition "Victorian Fairy Painting," and with two related events, University Theatres' production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and an exhibition of fairy-tale books from the Special Collections at the UI Main Library.

Over the course of the symposium, scholars and art historians from the United States and Europe will give lectures and participate in discussions about the role of fairies in the visual arts, literature, theater and music. Participants in the symposium will include Susan Casteras, professor of art history at the University of Washington, Seattle; Russell Jackson, deputy director of the Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham, England; Gary Williams, associate chair of the department of drama at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.; and Marilyn Stokstad, professor of art history at the University of Kansas.

Although the general public is welcome to attend all of the symposium's events, the Sunday events will be especially attractive to a general audience. Lectures presented on Friday and Saturday morning will emphasize topics in art history, theater history and Shakespearean literature. Saturday's afternoon session will be geared toward an audience of teachers and educators.

Highlights of the three-day symposium will include:

-- 10:30 a.m. Friday, "Politics in Fairyland," by Gary Williams;

-- 4 p.m. Friday, a guided tour of "Victorian Fairy Painting" by UI Museum of Art assistant director Pamela Trimpe, who organized the exhibition;

-- 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, a panel discussion of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," including Alan MacVey, department chair and associate professor in the UI department of theatre arts; Miriam Gilbert, professor in the UI English department; Art Borreca, associate professor in theatre arts; and Mary Beth Easley, director of the University Theatres production;

-- 1:30 p.m. Saturday, "Fairy Tales," a presentation directed towards teachers and educators, by Paula Brandt, UI curriculum library director;

-- 3 p.m., Saturday, a screening of the film "A Midsummer Night's Dream," followed by an informal discussion; and

-- 2 p.m. Sunday, "Musical Settings of Fairy Tales," a musical lecture/performance by Sven Hansell, professor of musicology in the UI School of Music.

"Victorian Fairy Painting" has attracted an exceptionally enthusiastic public response. It broke attendance records when it was shown at the Royal Academy of Arts in London last fall, and its opening day at the UI Museum of Art set a new record for one-day attendance at the museum. Unusually large crowds continue to visit the museum to view the exhibition.

The exhibition and its companion book examine the portrayal of fairies in art and literature from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries. The exhibition includes more than 70 paintings by both well and lesser known artists, including J.M.W. Turner, John Everett Millais, Richard Dadd, John Anster Fitzgerald, Daniel Maclise, J. Edwin Landseer, Richard Doyle and Arthur Rackham.

Fairy painting was commercially and critically popular during the 19th century. It combined the Romantic interest in fantastic subject matter with the realistic techniques of Victorian painting. These qualities allowed fairy painting to bring together some of the most important concerns of 19th-century British art: the nude, the romantic landscape, the costume study, the sentimental narrative and imagery from literary, theatrical and historical sources.

The symposium "Art to Enchant" is supported in part by grants from the Iowa Humanities Board and the British Council, and by gifts from private individuals.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, will be open its regular hours during the symposium, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free to the museum and the "Victorian Fairy Painting" exhibition. The UI Libraries exhibit of fairy-tale books is likewise open to the public free of charge.

Performances of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" during the symposium will be at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday in E.C. Mabie Theatre of the UI Theatre Building. Tickets are $14 ($7 for seniors, students and youth) and may be purchased in advance at the Hancher box office. Any remaining tickets for each performance will be available one hour before curtain time at the Theatre Building box office.

Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and 1-3 p.m. Sunday. From the local calling area or outside Iowa, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance within Iowa and western Illinois is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction.

People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158. The line is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

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"Art to Enchant" Symposium

Schedule of Public Events


Events held in the UI Museum of Art

10 a.m. Opening remarks -- Stephen Prokopoff, director, UI Museum of Art
Overview -- Pamela Trimpe, assistant director, UI Museum of Art

10:30 a.m. "Politics in Fairyland" -- Gary Williams, professor and associate chair of
the department of drama, Catholic University, Washington D.C.

11:15 a.m. "The Thought Before the Thing: The Fairy Paintings of Joseph Noel
Paton" -- Richard Schindler, assistant professor of art history, Allegheny
College, Meadville, Pennsylvania

noon - 1:30 p.m. Lunch break

1:30 p.m. "The Sexualization of Fairies in British 'Fairy Painting' from 1840-1870"
-- Celia Stahr, visiting assistant professor of art history, San Francisco
State University

2:15 p.m. "Only 'Give Them Wings': Nudity and Sexuality in Victorian Fairy
Painting" -- Susan Casteras, adjunct professor of art history, University of
Washington, Seattle.

3 p.m. Break

3:15 p.m. "Impossible Dreams" -- Russell Jackson, senior lecturer and deputy
director of The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, England

4 p.m. Tour of the exhibition -- Pamela Trimpe

4:45 - 5:30 p.m. Reception

8 p.m. "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (purchase of tickets required), E.C. Mabie
Theatre, Theatre Building


Morning events held in the UI Theatre Building

10 a.m. - noon Panel Discussion -- "A Midsummer Night's Dream" Alan MacVey,
department chair and associate professor, UI theatre arts department; Miriam
Gilbert, professor, UI English department; Art Borreca, associate professor,
UI theatre arts department; Mary Beth Easley, director of "A Midsummer
Night's Dream, UI theatre arts department

noon - 1:30 p.m. Lunch break

Afternoon events held in the UI Museum of Art

1:30 p.m. Teacher Presentation: "Fairy Tales" -- Paula Brandt, UI curriculum library

3 p.m. Film screening and discussion -- "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

8 p.m. "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (purchase of tickets required), E.C. Mabie
Theatre, Theatre Building


Events held at the UI Museum of Art

1 p.m. Lecture: "The Power of Enchantment" -- Marilyn Stokstad, the Judith
Harris Murphy Distinguished Professor of Art History, Kress Foundation
Department of Art History, University of Kansas, Lawrence

2 p.m. "Musical Settings of Fairy Tales" -- Sven Hansell, professor, UI School of Music