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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 3, 2006

Monroe Will Introduce New African Gallery At UI Museum of Art Feb. 16

John Monroe, a curatorial fellow at the University of Iowa Museum of Art (UIMA), will present a lecture and tour of the museum's recently re-installed African collection at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16 in the African Gallery of the Museum of Art.

Monroe's lecture will be free and open to the public.

The new installation of works from the UIMA's extensive African collection, "Time and Space in African Art," opened Jan. 27. It features more than 50 works of African Art, with particular emphasis on works from the central African country of Burkina Faso.

The UIMA houses one of the world's largest university-based collections of African art. The heart of the museum's holdings is the Stanley Collection of African Art, which consists of more than 600 African objects representing ethnic groups from throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The late Max and Betty Stanley of Muscatine, Iowa, began collecting African sculpture in the early 1970s and gave their collection to the UIMA in 1986 and 1990.

The African collection was formerly shown in a gallery on the west side of the UIMA. To make room for a new ceramics gallery, a portion of the collection has been moved into a new space near the entrance of the museum.

In his lecture, Monroe will discuss the various ways in which conventions of western museum display change how we perceive African Art.

"I will explain the stories I designed the exhibition to tell," he said. "When putting together the installation, I had those conventions in mind and wanted to come up with various ways to play with them. For example African masks are generally meant to be used as props in larger spectacles, which include dance, music and costume. I try to give a sense of what the original context would be like by adding video footage of masquerade dances."

During the lecture Monroe will give a tour of the African installation.

Monroe is an assistant professor in the Department of History at Iowa State University. He was awarded the 2005-2006 curatorial fellowship at the UIMA. Monroe received his doctorate in European history from Yale University in 2002.

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 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots west and north of the museum.

For more information on the UI Museum of Art visit on the World Wide Web. Information on other UI arts events is available at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072,