• This is a picture of statues

    Students at the University of Iowa were required to study free-hand drawing

  • This is a picture of student sketching a model

    The Department of Philosophy and the Department of Classical Archaeology offered the first art history courses on the UI campus

  • This is a picture of Charles Cumming
    1905 - 1925

    Charles A. Cumming (1880-1947) was head of the fine arts program. He believed that knowledge of art was necessary for the moral uplifting of people

  • This is a picture of Ranney Memorial Library

    The Mark Ranney Memorial Art Library was established by Martha Ranney through an endowment in her husband's memory 

  • This is a picture of Carl Seashore

    Carl Seashore (1866-1949), a scholar of the psychology of music and the graphic arts was named Dean of the Graduate College and served until 1937

  • This is a picture of President Walter Jessup

    With President Walter Jessup, Carl Seashore developed the School of Fine Arts in the 1930s

  • This is a picture of Sheaves of Wheat

    A four-year BA program in the Department of Graphic and Plastic Arts was established

  • This is a picture of the inscription on the original art building

    Department of Art History and Appreciation is founded

  • This is a picture of American Gothic

    The University of Iowa became the first major university to accept creative work in lieu of written theses for graduate degrees in the fine and performing arts. This is the origin of Iowa Idea-the innovative plan to major practicing artists to the faculty and combine art history and studio art into one department 

  • This is a picture of Eve Drewelowe, Maverick

    Native Iowan Eve Drewelowe (1899-1988) received the first MA degree in fine arts granted by the University of Iowa.

  • This is a picture of the Art Building in 2017

    Rufus Fitzgerald (1890-1966) was named director of the School of Fine Arts. He selected the west bank of the Iowa River for the location of the arts campus.

  • This is a picture of President Walter Jessup on top of the Art Building

    President Jessup (1877-1944) dedicated the cornerstone of a new building to be built especially for the study of art. Inspired by the educational philosophy of John Dewey and in association with Dean Seashore, he developed the School of Fine Arts and initiated the arts campus building program on the west side of the river.

  • This is a picture of Grant Wood with students

    Grant Wood (1891-1942) was appointed to the faculty. He was one of the leading figures in the Regionalist art movement.

  • This is a picture of the Art Building

    The Palladio-inspired new Art Building, designed by university architect George Horner, opened.

  • This is a picture of Lester D. Longman

    Lester D. Longman (1905-1987), Princeton-trained art historian, was hired to direct the new joint art history and studio art program.

  • This is a picture of the Art Building Gallery

    Renamed the Department of Art, the programs were revised to embody the “Iowa Idea” of combining art history and studio art. BFA, MFA, and PhD degrees were added to the art program. Longman introduced courses in modern and contemporary art and established a gallery in the Art Building.

  • This is a picture of H.W. Janson

    Art historian H. W. Janson (1913-1982) was appointed to the faculty. He later published the History of Art, which became the leading art history survey text in the United States. His internationalist viewpoint clashed with Grant Wood's regionalist vision.

  • This is a picture of the Painting Studio

    Under Longman’s directorship the Department of Art presented exhibitions of  contemporary art, often borrowed from New York collections, and purchased works that later formed the foundation for the University of Iowa Museum of Art, including Max Beckmann’s Karneval.

  • This is a picture of Elizabeth Catlett

    Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012) was the first person, first woman, and first African-American to receive the MFA degree.  She studied with Grant Wood and Henry Stinson and gained critical acclaim through her socially-charged prints and sculptures. Catlett Hall, the largest dormitory on campus, was named in her honor in 2017.

  • This is a picture of Philip Guston

    Philip Guston (1913-1980), New York School painter and printmaker was appointed to the faculty.

  • This is a picture of Mauricio Lasansky with students

    Mauricio Lasansky (1914-2012) was appointed to the faculty. He founded the innovative printmaking program that offered the first MFA in printmaking in the U.S. He is considered a forerunner in the evolution of the graphic arts as a critical art form. Together with his students, he established the Iowa Print Group for the exhibition of prints and the promotion of print culture.

  • This is a picture of Sharecropper

    Owing to the influx of returning veterans on the G.I. Bill, the University of Iowa conferred more graduate arts degrees in the post-war period than any other university.

  • This is a picture of the cover of Janson's History of Art

    Byron Burford (1920-2011) appointed to painting faculty, having studied under Philip Guston and Grant Wood.  Represented U.S. in Venice Biennale in 1968.

  • This is a picture of Guston's Martial Memory

    In recognition of Iowa's innovative art program, Peggy Guggenheim donated Jackson Pollock's Mural to the Department of Art. The painting arrived on campus in 1951.

  • This is a picture of A Bigger Splash

    Miriam Schapiro (1923-2015) received the MFA degree. She is one of the founders of the feminist art movement in the United States.

  • This is a picture of Silueta Series

    Riva Castelman (1930-2014) graduated with a BA in Art History. She became Director of MOMA’s department of prints from 1976-1995 and was named deputy director of curatorial affairs in 1986.

  • This is a picture of Nazi Drawings Series

    Roy Sieber (1923-2001), the first scholar in the United States to receive a PhD in African art history, graduated from the University of Iowa. He went on to mentor many students at Indiana University and became a research scholar for the National Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institution.

  • 1959-1976

    Frank Seiberling (1908-1990), art historian and Director of the School of Art & Art History, encouraged the creation of the University of Iowa Museum of Art. He greatly expanded the art history faculty and added intermedia to the studio art curriculum. He also updated and expanded the Art Building complex with an administrative/printmaking wing and new sculpture, ceramics, and jewelry and metal-smithing studios.

  • This is a picture of David Hockney

    David Hockney (1937-) was appointed to the painting faculty. Renowned as one of the leaders of the Pop Art movement of the 1960s.

  • 1966-2000

    Hans Breder joined the faculty.

  • 1968

    Hans Breder (1935-2017) founded the intermedia program.

  • 1969

    The University of Iowa Museum of Art opened in building designed by Max Abramovitz. Ulfert Wilke (1907-1987) was appointed its first director (1969-1978).

  • 1973-1993

    Wallace J. Tomasini was appointed Director of the School of Art & Art History. He collaborated with Joyce Summerwill at the UI Hospitals & Clinics in 1978 to implement Project Art, a program to make art accessible to hospital patients.

  • 1975

    Charles Ray (1953-) received the BFA degree. He is regarded today as one of the most significant sculptors of his generation.

  • This is a picture of Ana Mendieta

    Intermedia artist Ana Mendieta (1948-1985) receives the MFA degree. A student of Hans Breder, she became a seminal figure in feminist art practice of the 1970s.

  • 1984

    Maxwell and Elizabeth Stanley donated their collection of 800 objects of African art to the University of Iowa Museum of Art.

  • 1989

    Project for the Advanced Study of Art and Life in Africa was established with Stanley Foundation support.

  • 1993

    Flooding of the Iowa River closes Art Building for the summer.

  • 1994-2009

    Dorothy Johnson was named Director of the School and the program restructured into studio art and art history Divisions.

  • This is a picture of Art Building West

    Art Building West opened, designed by Steven Holl Architects of New York.

  • This is a picture of the Studio Arts Building

    The Iowa River flood damaged much of the arts campus and rendered Art Building and Art Building West unusable. The studio division moved to a former big-box store south of Iowa City, renamed Studio Arts. The art history division relocated to Seashore Hall on the main campus.

  • 2011

    The Grant Wood Fellowship Program was founded under the aegis of the School of Art & Art History.

  • 2012

    Art Building West reopened for classes in January.

  • This is a picture of the Visual Arts Building

    The Visual Arts Building designed by Steven Holl Architects was opened, reuniting the studio and art history divisions on the arts campus. The Old Art Building from 1936 is to be restored and repurposed.