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Release: Nov. 1, 2002


Two special exhibitions celebrating the lives of women artists will be on display at the University of Iowa Museum of Art beginning Nov. 2.

“Pioneers on Paper: Works by Women in the Collection” will be exhibited through Feb. 23, and the 45-minute film “Meshes of the Afternoon,” directed by and starring Maya Deren and featuring Alexander Hammid, will be shown through Dec. 31.

In conjunction with the exhibitions, a public tour titled “Visionary Women’s Voices” will be offered at 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 24, at the UI Museum of Art. The tour will explore a broad range of works by women artists, from the traditional to the revolutionary.

“Pioneers on Paper: Works by Women in the Collection” will provide an overview of the important contributions made by women artists in the development of modern and contemporary art from the late 19th century to the 1980s. The exhibition includes 34 works on paper including prints, drawings, and photographs by 32 artists.

On display will be works by artists including Julia Margaret Cameron, Mary Cassatt and Kathe Kollwitz, who depicted aspects of everyday domestic life in early 20th-century Europe. Agnes Weinrich, Imogen Cunningham and Sally Michel Avery, artists who explored the simplification of shapes in nature, will also be represented.

Other artists to be featured include Peggy Bacon, Isabel Bishop and Helen Levitt, who depicted city life and the urban working woman of the 1930s. Also in the exhibition will be works by artists of the 1950s and 60s who continued to document social scenes, including Diane Arbus and Elizabeth Catlett; and others who explored abstraction and the materials of art, including Grace Hartigan and Lee Krasner.

Works by the leading feminist artists Miriam Schapiro and Judy Chicago, who celebrate female creativity by reclaiming the traditional arts and work of women, will also be presented in the exhibition.

“Meshes of the Afternoon” was the first film made by Deren, an avant-garde filmmaker and film theorist of the 1940s and 50s. It depicts a woman’s search for identity in a male-dominated society through a simulation of a fantastic dream. The film was released in 1943 and music by Teji Ito, innovative composer and Deren's husband, was added in 1959.

Deren came to America from Russia in 1922 and received her B.A. in political science from NYU and her Master‚s degree in English literature from Smith. She made six short films and authored two books including “An Anagram of Ideas on Art, Form and Film.”

Deren received the first Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Work in Motion Pictures in 1946. The following year her films won the “Grand Prix Internationale” for amateur film at Cannes Film Festival, the first American and the first woman to earn this honor.

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

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