CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 1, 1999
UI emeritus faculty member Mauricio Lasansky receives
Iowa Award from Gov. Vilsack
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Printmaker Mauricio Lasansky, University
of Iowa emeritus professor of Art and Art History, has received the State
of Iowa's highest citizen award. The Iowa Award, bestowed by the Iowa Centennial
Memorial Foundation, was presented to Lasansky Oct. 1 by Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack.
The Iowa Centennial Foundation was established in
1948 by Gov. Robert D. Blue and the Iowa Legislature. The foundation was created
to encourage and recognize the outstanding service of Iowans in the fields
of science, medicine, law, religion, social welfare, education, agriculture,
industry, government and other public service, and to recognize the merit
of their accomplishments in Iowa and throughout the United States.
The foundation bestows the Iowa Award approximately
every five years. Past recipients have included Herbert Hoover, cartoonist
Jay N. Darling, UI space scientist James Van Allen, pollster George Gallup,
composer Meredith Willson and opera singer Simon Estes.
In her letter nominating Lasansky, UI President Mary
Sue Coleman noted that Lasansky "has brought world attention to Iowa as a
center of the arts. His prints are proudly displayed in museums and commercial
buildings all over the state and throughout the country. He was instrumental
in the establishment of the UI printmaking program, which is now recognized
as the top printmaking program in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
His enduring legacy as a teacher of printmaking is reaffirmed in the accomplishments
of generations of Iowa art students, and in his successors on the Iowa printmaking
faculty who carry on his tradition of excellence."
A native of Argentina, Mauricio Lasansky came to the
United States in 1943 on a Guggenheim fellowship to study printmaking in New
York City. He joined the UI art faculty in 1945 and established the first
Master of Fine Arts program in printmaking in an American university. As his
students spread across the country, his successful and influential program
became the model for printmaking programs and workshops at many other colleges
In 1967 Lasansky was named Virgil M. Hancher Professor
of Art, and he attained emeritus status in 1984. The Museum of Art has a separate
room devoted to the display of Lasansky's works.