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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 8, 2006

Museum Of Art's Kirschenbaum Retrospective To Run Sept. 17 To Dec. 10

"Jules Kirschenbaum: The Need to Dream of Some Transcendent Meaning," a retrospective exhibition of more than 40 major paintings by the late Drake University art professor, will be on display at the University of Iowa Museum of Art (UIMA) Sept. 17-Dec. 10.

In conjunction with the exhibition, curator Thomas Worthen, who was a friend and colleague of Kirschenbaum for several decades, will present a lecture at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, in the UIMA. Worthen will discuss the complexities of Kirschenbaum's work, including the connections between the paintings and their underlying context, which range from the Kaballah to Samuel Beckett.

Both the lecture and the exhibition are open to the public and free of charge.

Worthen said that Kirschenbaum's works "were always marked by a seriousness of purpose, very high craftsmanship and a genuine intelligence, which resulted in some of the most beautiful and powerful images that I know of in contemporary art."

Working during the height of abstract art, Kirschenbaum drew on the Western tradition of representation. In his mature work, images of people and objects become metaphors for a deep examination of being and the human spirit. He once said that the visual aspect of his artworks "is just the beginning of an endless chain of allusion."

A native of New York City, Kirschenbaum came to Iowa in 1963 as artist-in-residence at the Des Moines Art Center. He was a professor at Drake for more than 25 years, and chair of the art department from August 1991 through May 1997, and he was instrumental in the development of the Anderson Gallery, which opened in October 1996. Kirschenbaum died in Des Moines in 2000.

"Jules Kirschenbaum: The Need to Dream of Some Transcendent Meaning" was made possible with major support from the Ralph and Sylvia G. Green Charitable Foundation, and support from Mary Ann Riley, Robert and Kay Riley, Louis and Lois Fingerman, and Michael Myszewski and Martha Graham James.

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 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots west and north of the museum.

For more information on the UI Museum of Art visit on the World Wide Web.

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072; cell: 319-541-2846;

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