December 8, 2017

University of Iowa Receives $10 Million Donation for New Art Museum

IOWA CITY, IOWA—The University of Iowa was gifted $10 million by philanthropists Richard and Mary Jo Stanley in support of the construction of a new art museum. In honor of the couple’s generosity, the university will name the arts space the Iowa Stanley Art Museum.

Kathy A. Bolten of the Des Moines Register writes that the school’s former museum, which housed its holdings of 15,500 artworks—estimated to be worth $500 million—was severely damaged by flooding in June. Due to the structural damage to the building, the Federal Emergency Management Agency would not cover the reparations. Because of its close proximity to the Iowa River, the venue was deemed an unsuitable location for the university’s art collection, which was temporarily moved to the Figge Art Museum in Davenport.

The new facility, which will be built near the university’s main library, is expected to open in 2020. “This will complete a vibrant art campus that serves the university, Iowa City, and the state of Iowa,” said Rod Lehnertz, the university’s senior vice president of finance and operations.

A portion of the donation to the university came from the estate of Richard Stanley’s parents, C. Maxwell and Elizabeth Stanley, who managed one of the world’s largest office furniture manufacturing companies. The veteran donors to the museum also gifted their African art collection to the museum in 1985. The couple had both received degrees from the university, as did Richard Stanley, who passed away in November.

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