New University of Iowa Museum of Art building coming to campus - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New University of Iowa Museum of Art building coming to campus

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

The University of Iowa Board of Regents has approved a new building to be built for a new UI Museum of Art, after the old facility was damaged in the 2008 floods.

The original building was able to be repaired after it was flooded, but because the building sits on a flood plain, the art couldn't be returned to it because the art wouldn't be insured there.  In a parking lot near the university's main library is where the new museum will be built, keeping it close to campus.

"A lot of Iowans don't know, we have one of the several finest collections of art of any university in the United States," Interim Director of the Museum of Art, Jim Leach, said.

Since the flood, artwork from the collection has been scattered all over the world. A large portion of it is at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport. A small exhibit museum was also put on the third floor of the IMU building on campus.

"We have almost 15-thousand pieces of art that we store and some of it is quite valuable, and some of it is quite educational." Leach said.

One of the collection's prized pieces comes from artist, Jackson Pollack. The 20-feet long piece is valued well over $100 million.

"Jackson Pollack's piece called 'Mural' has been seen in the last three years by more people than have visited Kinnick Stadium over the last three seasons. It has become a world-wide art phenomenon," he said.

Among the collection are two paintings by famed Iowa painter, Grant Wood. One features a boy holding a football called 'Plaid Sweater.' Work from Braque, Picasso, and Miró are also in the collection.

Leach said they expect and hope the new building will be finished in 2020.

"This is truly an art-centric university, and the museum will kind of be an anchor to the arts, and it will tie them all together," he said.

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