The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Stanley Museum of Art debuts ‘A Year in Print’ exhibit that highlights acclaimed artists

The Stanley Museum debuted “A Year in Print” on Friday as well as hosted the 2024 Downtown Gallery Walk.
Kathy Le
Attendees view the art of the grand opening of latest exhibition “A Year in Print” at the Stanley Museum of Art Friday, March 1, 2024. (Kathy Le/ The Daily Iowan).

The Stanley Museum of Art’s new immersive art installation took visitors on an artful journey through time on Friday to explore the socio-political climate of post-World War I America in “A Year in Print.”

Ever since opening a new building in 2022, the Stanley Museum of Art has hosted a wide variety of immersive artistic events. One of the most notable of these events was on Friday the tandem debut of the “A Year in Print,” exhibition and the 2024 Gallery Walk.

“I think what is wonderful about [“A Year in Print”] is that it looks at printmaking from about 100 years ago,” Diana Tuite, visiting senior curator of modern and contemporary art, said. “It offers an opportunity to look back at this moment in time when not long after the First World War, the United States was reckoning with a new world order.”

Tuite points out that artists were also beginning to adapt and borrow some of the techniques that had been used more in commercial art, rather than fine art. The portfolio included in “A Year in Print,” which was founded by Erhard Weyhe and Carl Zigrosser, showcased a range of techniques such as etching, drypoint, woodcut, and lithography.

“These artists were doing things as diverse as depicting a changing New York City and urbanism in the early 20th century and creating prints to document things that they’ve seen on the Eastern Front of World War One,” Tuite said. “I would like for viewers to come and understand that this is still something for which there’s a lot of opportunity to do more research.”

The “A Year in Print,” collection was gifted to the Stanley by art collectors Alan and Ann January. The two bought all 12 prints from art dealer Thomas French in 1995. Before their acquisition, only two other people had been known to have owned the collection.

“There were 115 sets originally and few of those sets survived intact. What usually happened was that art dealers would take the 12 prints and put them in galleries for sale individually. So, most sets were broken up,” Alan January said.

Alan January visited the exhibit’s opening reception and was very pleased with how Stanley had set up the 12 portfolio prints. Both he and his wife graduated from the University of Iowa and came from families who placed a high value on art.

“My favorite print of the collection is the “Blue Bird,” — no question. It’s by Rockwell Kent and was his first commercial print as a printmaker, and then he went on to become a great printmaker,” Alan January said.

The 2024 Downtown Spring Gallery Walk was also held alongside the “A Year in Print” opening reception. The collections team at the Stanley worked hard to ensure that both events would debut on the same day.

For over 20 years, the Gallery Walk has taken over downtown Iowa City and decorated different businesses with wonderful and diverse works of art.

Kimberly Datchuk, Stanley’s curator of learning and engagement, said working in Stanley’s new building has allowed the museum staff to reimagine what new programs can look like.

“It’s nice to have the museum be part of what’s happening downtown because there are so many different places that feature art and have a connection to artists,” Datchuk said. “It’s one of the magical things about Iowa City.”

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About the Contributors
Riley Dunn
Riley Dunn, Arts Reporter
Riley Dunn is a first-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in English and Creative Writing and Journalism and Mass Communications. Prior to her time at the DI, Riley interned for Swimming World Magazine.
Kathy Le, Photojournalist
Kathy Le is a fourth-year student at The University of Iowa majoring in 3D design and Art History. This is her first year working as a photojournalist of Daily Iowan.