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: Feb. 23, 2001

UI Museum of Art presents events March 8-9 in conjunction with ‘Lure of the West’

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Museum of Art will present events March 8-9 in conjunction with its current exhibition, "Lure of the West: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum," on view at the museum through March 18.

UI associate professor Joni Kinsey will present a lecture, "Places Into Paintings: Thomas Moran’s Working Methods," at 3:30 p.m., Thursday, March 8 in the UI Museum of Art.

Musicians Dean Rathje and Gayla Drake Paul will perform a selection of traditional American music and cowboy songs starting at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 9 in the museum.

Kinsey is a specialist in American art of the 19th century. The subject of her dissertation as a graduate student was the Western artist Thomas Moran, and she wrote her first book about him in 1992, "Thomas Moran and the Surveying of the American West."

Because she studied at the Smithsonian American Art Museum while doing her dissertation, Kinsey is very familiar with the paintings at the UI Museum of Art. Kinsey will speak specifically about three of Moran’s works in the exhibition: "Mist in Kanab Canyon, Utah," "Rainbow over the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone" and "Cliffs of the Upper Colorado River, Wyoming Territory."

Moran was the first artist to visit and paint Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon. Kinsey will track images of the locations Moran painted, starting with photographs taken of the West during the 19th century, to sketches and watercolors the artist made, to the painting and, finally, contemporary photographs.

"This study of images will show a transformation of the West through the artist’s imagination," Kinsey said. "It shows how one person processes the place, how that place is presented to viewers and what the final package means to us. Moran’s paintings had an important impact on people of the 19th century."

Rathje and Drake Paul are multi-talented musicians and vocalists who will use guitar, banjo, dobro, mandolin and fiddle in their concert. Drake Paul is a renowned fingerstyle guitarist.

The performers said the songs will have a western motif. "The concert is a profile of the music of the West and what that music evolved out of," Drake Paul said.

"The songs are colorful with upbeat arrangements," Rathje added. "‘Yippee Ki-yi’ will be the most lively version you’ll ever hear."

"Lure of the West: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum" explores the origins of the myths of the West that still generate in American culture.

"Lure of the West: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum" is one of eight exhibitions in "Treasures to Go," touring the nation through 2002. The Principal Financial Group is a proud partner in presenting these treasures to the American people.

Programs and exhibitions at the Museum of Art are supported in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Local sponsors of "Lure of the West" include Meskwaki Bingo/Casino/Hotel, the Gazette family of companies, Humanities Iowa, Tru Art Color Graphics, the Iowa Arts Council, and the Iowa City/Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

M.C. Ginsberg Objects of Art, Inc. of Iowa City is the corporate sponsor for events at the UI Museum of Art during the 2000-2001 season, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

For information on the UI Museum of Art, visit on the World Wide Web. Information is available on other UI arts events at

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots across from the museum on Riverside Drive and just north of the museum.