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Release: Oct. 1, 1999

UI emeritus faculty member Mauricio Lasansky receives Iowa Award from Gov. Vilsack

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Printmaker Mauricio Lasansky, University of Iowa emeritus professor of Art and Art History, has received the State of Iowa's highest citizen award. The Iowa Award, bestowed by the Iowa Centennial Memorial Foundation, was presented to Lasansky Oct. 1 by Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack.

The Iowa Centennial Foundation was established in 1948 by Gov. Robert D. Blue and the Iowa Legislature. The foundation was created to encourage and recognize the outstanding service of Iowans in the fields of science, medicine, law, religion, social welfare, education, agriculture, industry, government and other public service, and to recognize the merit of their accomplishments in Iowa and throughout the United States.

The foundation bestows the Iowa Award approximately every five years. Past recipients have included Herbert Hoover, cartoonist Jay N. Darling, UI space scientist James Van Allen, pollster George Gallup, composer Meredith Willson and opera singer Simon Estes.

In her letter nominating Lasansky, UI President Mary Sue Coleman noted that Lasansky "has brought world attention to Iowa as a center of the arts. His prints are proudly displayed in museums and commercial buildings all over the state and throughout the country. He was instrumental in the establishment of the UI printmaking program, which is now recognized as the top printmaking program in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. His enduring legacy as a teacher of printmaking is reaffirmed in the accomplishments of generations of Iowa art students, and in his successors on the Iowa printmaking faculty who carry on his tradition of excellence."

A native of Argentina, Mauricio Lasansky came to the United States in 1943 on a Guggenheim fellowship to study printmaking in New York City. He joined the UI art faculty in 1945 and established the first Master of Fine Arts program in printmaking in an American university. As his students spread across the country, his successful and influential program became the model for printmaking programs and workshops at many other colleges and universities.

In 1967 Lasansky was named Virgil M. Hancher Professor of Art, and he attained emeritus status in 1984. The Museum of Art has a separate room devoted to the display of Lasansky's works.