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University of Iowa art museum curator to present Dickson Lecture

Jackson Pollock’s famous Mural, commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim, who later gifted it to the University of Iowa, hangs in an art studio prior to the opening of the Stanley Museum of Art. Credit: Frederick W. Kent Collection, University of Iowa ArchivesAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Joyce Tsai, chief curator at the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art and associate professor of practice at the School of Art and Art History, will give a lecture, “Museum as Public Good,” as part of the Department of Art History’s Dickson Lecture Series at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11, via Zoom. The lecture is free but registration is required here.

In her lecture, Tsai will share the history of the Stanley Museum of Art, which first opened in 1969 but whose collection came into being far earlier. The University of Iowa was one of the first to accept creative works in fulfillment of the requirements of a thesis. This paved the way for Iowa to be the first to establish the master of fine arts as a degree program. According to Tsai, the collection came into being to serve those commitments.

“It coalesced around ideals forged between two wars, in the face of economic crisis, as fascism loomed ahead, and as American victory at mid-century was yet uncertain," said Tsai.

Tsai’s curatorial, pedagogical and scholarly work engage questions of technology, politics and philosophy in modern and contemporary art. Her book, "László Moholy-Nagy: Painting after Photography" (UC Press, 2018), is winner of the Phillips Collection Book Prize. She guest-curated the Santa Barbara Museum of Art exhibition "Shape of Things to Come: The Paintings of Moholy-Nagy" (2015) and edited its eponymous catalog. With Tim Shipe, Jen Buckley and Stephen Voyce, she curated "Dada Futures" (2018), and "The Disasters of War "(2019) with Luis Martin Estudillo and Anna Barker. She is preparing the inaugural exhibition of the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, opening in its new building in fall 2022.

Last Updated February 04, 2021