Corn Country

University of Iowa Museum of Art--"New Forms"

The University of Iowa Museum of Art (UIMA) was established in 1969 and is considered one of the best university art museums in the country. It has a collection of over 15,000 objects which includes the Stanley Collection of African Art and Jackson Pollock's Mural (1943). Although the UIMA lost access to its building in the 2008 flood, its collection can be seen at the following temporary locations: Black Box Theater and Visual Classroom at the Iowa Memorial Union, Old Capitol Museum, the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, and throughout the state of Iowa through its Legacies for Iowa Collections Sharing Project.

The Daily Palette is celebrating "New Forms: The Avant-Garde Meets the American Scene, 1934-1949", the UIMA's current exhibition at the Black Box Theater in the Iowa Memorial Union. The show, which is on view September 14, 2013 through December 4, 2013, presents works of art from the museum's collection of 20th century American art. The exhibition explores the complicated relationship between American Scene painting and avant-garde art, with a special focus on Iowa as "a hotbed of controversy and innovation."

This week the Daily Palette is celebrating "New Forms" by featuring four paintings by Iowa-affiliated artists that are included in the exhibition. Stay tuned for next month's week-long feature on this exciting show!

Corn Country, oil on masonite, 26 3/8" x 31 1/4", 1937

Gift of Dr. Clarence Van Epps, 1947.1

Reproduced with permission of Lee Allen's daughters, Mary Lee Hoganson and Elizabeth Williams

Image courtesy of University of Iowa Museum of Art

Lee Allen (1910-2006) was born in Muscatine, Iowa and moved to Des Moines at age nine.  He studied art at the Cummings School of Art in Des Moines and at the University of Iowa.  In 1933 he went to work painting the murals in the library at Iowa State University with his friend Grant Wood.  He was also commissioned by the United States Treasury Department to paint murals for post offices in Onawa and Emmetsburg, Iowa.  In 1937 he began a new career as an ophthalmic medical illustrator at the University of Iowa.  His position left little time for his own art, but he resumed painting when he retired in 1976.

Corn Country is one of many scenes Allen painted of the Iowa landscape.

This page was first displayed
on October 11, 2013

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