Thesis Rental Gallery

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For the past seventy-five years the School of Art & Art History has collected thousands of artworks by artists attending the School's graduate studio programs. Following a tradition initiated by Giorgio Vasari at the founding of the Florentine Academy of Design in the 1560s, MFA graduates of the School can deposit a work in the collection in recognition of their graduation with the terminal degree. The collection contains nearly 8000 pieces, including paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures and other art objects from as early as 1939.

The collection is unique in the country and provides a critical glimpse of academic American art over much of the last century. 

The gallery offers the rental of this original graduate student art for display in University buildings. For $40 per year, renewable annually, members of the University community can chose a piece of art for their office or work area. Nearly the entire history of the School is therefore spread around the offices and public spaces of the University.

Gallery Hours:  The Thesis Rental Gallery is currently closed for moving back to main campus. We will reopen as soon as we can after the move and continue to bill for rented paintings.

For information about renting art, contact the Office of Visual Materials, at (319) 335-1787 or email


Painting of woman painting from the Thesis Gallery