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Release: July 19, 1999

University of Iowa Museum of Art shows ceramics from its permanent collection

IOWA CITY, Iowa — "Formal Elegance," an ongoing exhibition of ceramics from the museum's permanent collection of the University of Iowa Museum of Art, is now on display in the museum's Focus II Gallery "Formal Elegance" is scheduled to coincide with "Different Stokes," an international invitational exhibition of wood-fired ceramics that will be shown at the museum during the fall semester. Both exhibitions were planned in conjunction with the International Woodfire Conference, which will take place at the UI Sept. 29-Oct. 2. There will also be related exhibitions in the lobby of the Levitt Center for University Advancement and the Studiolo Gallery in Iowa City.

Objects in "Formal Elegance" represent collections that were assembled by three pairs of collectors: the late Owen and Leone Elliott of Cedar Rapids; Rose and Angelo Garzio of Manhattan, Kan.; and Bob and Joan E. Mannheimer of Des Moines.

The majority of the exhibition is made up of works given to the museum by Joan E. Mannheimer. Her collection focuses on 20th-century American artists. Mannheimer's collecting was inspired in part by her desire to get to know the artists who created the works. Her collection includes work by the husband-and-wife team of Otto and Gertrude Natzler, who immigrated to the United States during World War II; and Richard Devore.

The collection of Owen and Leone Elliott is known principally for its paintings and prints by prominent European artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Their ceramics collection also includes works by well-known artists of this period, among them Marc Chagall and Pablo Picasso.

Rose and Angelo Garzio have been giving ceramics to the UI Museum of Art since 1995. With pieces from China, Japan and Korea, their collection reflects their interest in an East Asian aesthetic.

The exhibition was organized by Iris G. Morehouse, assistant to the registrar at the museum and a Master of Fine Arts student in printmaking. "Inherent in each one of these collections is a unique sensitivity to the aesthetic of ceramic art," Morehouse said. "The works in the exhibition expand and redefine the meaning of the utilitarian object. Classical simplicity of form and surface unite in a celebration of elegance and innovation."

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday 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.