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Release: Dec. 1, 1999

UI names Howard Creel Collinson as director of Museum of Art

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Howard Creel Collinson, the Mona Campbell Curator, department of Western art and culture of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, has been named director of the University of Iowa Museum of Art, UI Provost Jon Whitmore announced today (Dec. 1).

Collinson succeeds Stephen Prokopoff, who retired July 1.

Whitmore commented on the appointment, "Howard Collinson has a proven track record of building quality programs at the Royal Ontario Museum. As well, he articulated many creative ideas during the interview process that engendered broad support for his candidacy."

"I'm honored to be entrusted with the leadership of the tremendous collections and programs of the Museum of Art," Collinson said. "I look forward to working with all the museum's staff, volunteers and friends to continue the museum's long tradition as a vibrant contributor to the life of the university, the region and the state."

Collinson, who is a native of Kansas, has been at the Royal Ontario Museum since 1986, first as assistant curator with full responsibility for prints and drawings in the European department. He became associate curator in 1991 and was appointed head of the museum's Institute of Contemporary Culture (ICC) in 1992. He became head of the department of Western art and culture in 1996, and in 1997 he was named the Mona Campbell Curator, making him the first person already on the museum staff to be named to an endowed curatorship.

During Collinson's six-year tenure as head, the ICC constructed a 4,000-square-foot gallery, presented 12 exhibitions and raised more then $2.5 million in cash and in-kind donations. He organized and served as curator for several of the ICC's exhibitions, including "Fifty Years of Canadian Advertising and Design," an exhibition of paintings by Canadian painter Charles Pachter, and a retrospective exhibition of works by the distinguished graphic designer Theo Dimson.

Collinson also worked on a wide variety of other exhibitions at the Royal Ontario Museum, including "A Grand Design: The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum," "Floral Embroideries: Designs from an 18th-century Album," "The Art of Babar: Drawings and Watercolors by Jean and Laurent de Brunhoff," and "Psychedelic: San Francisco Posters of the 60s," among others.

He has published articles and reviews in art journals and exhibition catalogues, presented lectures in Canada and the United States and made more than 120 appearances on television and radio programs. Collinson holds a bachelor's degree with highest honors from the University of Kansas and a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, where he served as a research assistant at the Yale University Art Gallery.

Collinson will begin his duties at the UI Museum of Art Feb. 15.

(NOTE TO EDITORS: Howard Creel Collinson, the new director of the University of Iowa Museum of Art, may be reached for comment at 416-966-3586, or by e-mail at <howardc@rom.on.ca>.)