Past Exhibits at the Old Capitol Museum

"Fresh Threads of Connection: Mother Nature and British Women Writers"

March 7 - July 26, 2009

Curator, Bridget Draxler

“Fresh Threads of Connection,” whose title is taken from George Eliot’s Middlemarch, features ten women writers and their unique relationships with “nature”—and with each other. The exhibit, opened in conjunction with the 2009 British Women Writers Conference, weaves together unexpected connections between the authors themselves: it questions the art (and the nature) of science in the works of Mary Shelley and Margaret Cavendish—it considers visions of human nature in Mary Wollstonecraft and Jane Austen—it celebrates the imaginative animal worlds of Anna Sewell and Beatrix Potter—it examines cross-cultural and cross disciplinary treatment of art and nature in Christina Rossetti and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu—it explores nature as artistic metaphor in Charlotte Bronte and George Eliot. Exploring these unexpected connections between authors while exploring changes in the treatment of nature in literature over time sheds light on the complex yet intimate bond between the changing reality of nature and developing realism of art in 18th and 19th century England, and the parallel bond between mother nature and female artists during this period. 













April 14, 2009 - April 26, 2009

Work by Aurora De Armendi, graduate student in Printmaking and Intermedia

"Entrevistas" is a seven channel video installation incorporating interviews of Cuban immigrants mediated by a depiction of the oceanic border, now separating the interviewees from their homeland; an attempt to merge individual stories of exile, present within the history of Cuban Diaspora, into a shared experience. The work, concerning itself with the constant redefinition of “home,” the myth of returning and the exploration of collective memory bringing forth private and public realities shaped within a socio-political context, exists as the entrance into a cultural dialogue that is becoming more timely with the current political landscape of this country, but remains an ineffable link to the past. Click here for more information about the artist and the exhibit.



Eye Witness: Daniel Heyman’s Portraits of Iraqi Torture Victims 

November 1, 2008 - January 18, 2009

In his hauntingly expressionistic portraits, Daniel Heyman explores highly topical subjects ranging from the treatment of the Abu Ghraib prisoners to the Blackwater Baghdad shootings. Heyman’s art frequently reveals the humanity of his subjects by literally telling their stories—in many of the pieces in the exhibition he includes textual snippets of the subjects' conversations with lawyers, which he witnessed in Amman, Jordan and Istanbul, Turkey. By working on-site to transcribe his impressions of these interviews in watercolor, oil pastel, and etchings scratched directly into the plate, Heyman lends a gripping sense of immediacy to his work.

This timely exhibition, presented by the University of Iowa Museum of Art, is part of a collaborative project between the UIMA, the Old Capitol Museum, the UI Center for Human Rights, and the University of Iowa School of Law. It will be on display in the Hanson Family Humanities Gallery, located on the ground floor of the Old Capitol Museum and will culminate in a visit from Daniel Heyman in early December.



A Community of Writers: Creative Writing at the University of Iowa

October 12, 2007 - October 12, 2008

Beginning with the first verse-making class in the late 1800s through recent Pulitzer Prize awardees, a new exhibition at the Old Capitol Museum shows how diverse personalities and historical circumstances combined to make the University of Iowa "The Writing University." The yearlong exhibition, "A Community of Writers: Creative Writing at the University of Iowa," features Flannery O'Connor's master's thesis, handwritten drafts of Frank Conroy's memoir "Stop-Time" and Marilynne Robinson's novel "Housekeeping", the 1993 National Endowment for the Humanities Medal of Honor bestowed on the Writers' Workshop, and a re-creation of Paul Engle's desk.











The World Comes to Iowa: Portraits of the International Writing Program

This exhibit features portraits of IWP writers by Iowa City photographer Thomas Langdon, who has been photographing IWP writers for the past five years.









From Prairies to Cornfields: Iowa's Childrens Book Authors

This exhibit explores the relationship of picture and text, and the process of the two resulting in storytelling at its purest form.  From the golden cornfields of Iowa, several children's book authors have found a voice in presenting the Iowa way of life and the themes that follow them.  The exhibit is an addition to A Community of Writers: Creative Writing at the University of Iowa, located in the Hanson Humanities Gallery and Discovery Center in Old Capitol and the Museum of Natural History, and showcase an overview of contemporary and past children's book authors of Iowa.













Hometown Heroes: Iowa's Baseball Legacy

June 29, 2007 - September 9, 2007
Curator, Byron Preston


Close up of baseball cards









Celebrating Iowa's own baseball legends, the exhibit is comprised of Jon Liepas's memorabilia including belongings from seven Iowans in the baseball Hall of Fame. more thing added to the world: the Borges effect in contemporary artists' books

April 14, 2007 - June 15, 2007
Curator, Buzz Spector


Contemporary art




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