CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: August 4, 2000
Mystery writing and love of art will be joined in a conference at the
UI Sept. 29-Oct. 1
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Lovers of fine art who are also fans of mystery writing
will be able to explore both interests when the University of Iowa presents
"Mystery and Muse: Adventures in Art and Mayhem," a conference on
mystery writing, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at the UI Museum of
The first-ever conference on art and mystery will be presented by the Museum
of Art and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. It has been coordinated by Pam
Trimpe, curator of painting and sculpture at the museum, and Peggy Houston,
director of the writing festival.
The conference will be preceded by a workshop for mystery writers, Friday,
"Art, once considered the province of high-brows, and mystery novels,
once considered the trash reading of low-brows, have both recently attained
unparalleled popularity," Trimpe said.
"Commercialization and skyrocketing prices have made art the subject
of avarice and its companion, crime. In this environment, some of the best
writers of mystery fiction have written about collectors, curators and creators
of art allied with crooks, and they have created gripping plots revolving
around rare objects, looted paintings and museum conspiracies."
" 'Mystery and Muse' will give art lovers and mystery lovers the chance
to learn more about both the reality of art crimes and the craft of writing
good mystery fiction."
British author Peter Lovesy will talk about his own works in the opening
address of the conference, "Scoundrels in the Frame: A Less than Serious
Look at Victorian Art in the Mysteries of Peter Lovesy," at 7:30 p.m.
Friday in the Second Floor Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union.
Saturday, various experts will present panel discussion on "Plunder,
Destruction and Reparations: Art and the Nazis," "All That Glitters:
Antiques and Fakes," and "Art Crimes and Quandaries." A final
panel discussion on Sunday will feature mystery writers discussing "The
Mystery of My Muse: Art and Fiction."
Prior to the opening of the conference, two sessions from 10 a.m. to noon
and 2 to 4 p.m. Friday will give writers an opportunity to enhance their writing
skills, working with leading mystery writers Shelly Reuben and Dorothy Salisbury
The conference registration fee is $190 and includes the opening reception,
banquet, continental breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday, and all events. The
fee for the separate Friday workshop for mystery writers, which has a limited
enrollment, is $50. For registration materials or additional information,
contact Houston at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, (319) 335-4060, or by
e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.