The Oxford Project

The Oxford Project: Who We Are

Who created the Oxford Project exhibition?

Photographer: Peter Feldstein, professor emeritus of art at the University of Iowa (UI).

Journalist: Stephen G. Bloom, UI professor of journalism and the author of Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America.

Multi-Media Exhibition: Humanities Iowa purchased the rights to create a multi-media exhibition of Feldstein and Bloom's book, The Oxford Project: Who We Are. The exhibit is Humanities Iowa's first exhibit that can be set up and taken down quickly.

What is the Oxford Project exhibition?

The Oxford Project: Who We Are is a mobile, multi-media exhibition combining photography, text, and voice, which provides a stirring portrait of life in a small Iowa town over time.

This multi-media exhibition runs via PowerPoint. There are 26 slides, each with two full length black and white photos, text, and a voiceover. The photos were taken of residents of Oxford, Iowa (pop. 673), one taken in 1984 and the other in 2005. The text was compiled by Bloom from interviews in 2005 and 2006.

Where is the exhibition currently?

At the Dubuque Museum of Art, as of March 2010.

Where was the exhibition?

It premiered at the Johnson County Historical Society museum in Coralville from Oct-Nov 2006 and it has also been shown at:


"I had an hour and watched the whole thing, it was a lovely hour." - Anonymous
"Thanks for this cultural exhibit." - Anonymous
"Thank you - your effort was worthwhile." - Anonymous

Why "The Oxford Project"?

Iowa is a rural state, and even our largest cities are considered by urban Americans elsewhere to be small towns. The Oxford Project’s honest, warts-and-all look at a truly small town, first in the midst of the 1980s farm crisis, and then in the first decade of the new millennium, shows both change and continuity through difficult times, on a personal as well as the community level. It is an important document touching on significant social and policy issues as Iowa struggles to deal with an aging and declining population. It depicts the advantages as well as the disadvantages of living in a small town, and it attests to the importance and interest of the life that takes place there.

The Oxford Project: Who We Are, book

Stephen G. Bloom (left) and Peter Feldstein (right) discussing, their book:
The Oxford Project: Who We Are.

Questions and Comments regarding The Oxford Project exhibit?

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