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Release: Immediate

Stephen Prokopoff will retire as director of UI Museum of Art, effective July 1

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Stephen Prokopoff, the director of the University of Iowa Museum of Art, has announced that he will step down from that position, effective July 1.

Prokopoff will serve as a professor in the School of Art and Art History for one year before retiring from the UI.

Prokopoff commented on his plans: "After some 32 years of museum directorship, the prospect of leaving a familiar and intensely satisfying occupation is naturally tinged with regret. Yet there is also the exhilaration of anticipating more time for research and for the pleasures of art without the cares of administration and fundraising."

UI Provost Jon Whitmore noted that Prokopoff "has created a flourishing external and internal exhibition program that has received national and international recognition."

"During his leadership the museum has also received increased attention for its exhibitions by corporate and federal granting agencies," Whitmore said. "Of particular note have been the record-breaking attendance at the 'Plain Pictures' exhibition in 1997 and just this past year 'Victorian Fairy Painting.'

"The university is grateful for Stephen's successful leadership. We wish Stephen well in his retirement following a year of service as professor of art and art history."

Commenting on the museum's recent successes, Prokopoff added that they "have been achieved with the collaboration of a superb, exceptionally creative and productive staff. I am grateful for the many pleasures I have experienced working with them. I am grateful, too, for the warm support and guidance of the museum's Advisory Committee and the Friends' Development Council."

"I am confident that we can all look forward to the museum's continued growth and prosperity."

Prior to taking his position at the UI, Prokopoff was director of the Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois, director of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

An expert on contemporary art, Prokopoff has organized and curated more than 120 exhibitions. He was the Robert B. Mayer Professor of the History of Art at the University of Chicago and also taught at the University of Illinois and Boston University, among others.

A search committee has been formed, and the UI hopes to have a new director selected by the time of Prokopoff's retirement from the museum.