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Release: Sept. 14, 2001

UI Museum of Art installs exhibition of Lasansky portraits

An ongoing exhibition of portraits by University of Iowa emeritus faculty member Mauricio Lasansky will open Sept. 21 at the UI Museum of Art.

The exhibition features 37 prints, many of them never before seen in the Museum of Art. The series "Great Thinkers," with portraits of Darwin, Madame Curie and Verdi will be highlighted, along with a group from the Nazi Drawings series. Smaller more intimate prints of family members and others will round out the display.

A native of Argentina, 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 around 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, created as a result of a 1976 gift of more than 50 prints from Webster and Gloria Gelman. Significant gifts of prints were also made by Matthew and Carolyn Bucksbaum and the Mr. and Mrs. Harold E. Rayburn Collection. In 1972 the Nazi Drawings, a series of 33 mixed-media works, were placed on extended loan to the museum from the Richard S. Levitt Foundation..

Lasansky's works have appeared in more than 80 one-man exhibitions since 1943 and are currently housed in more than 75 museums and galleries worldwide. Lasansky was awarded the Iowa Award, the State of Iowa's highest citizen award, in October 1999. The award, bestowed by the Iowa Centennial Foundation, is given 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.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, and noon to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots west and north of the museum.

For information on the UI Museum of Art, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/uima on the World Wide Web. Information is available on other UI arts events at http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa.