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April 17, 2018

University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art Names Acting Director Amid Construction Halt

IOWA CITY, IOWA—The University of Iowahas named School of Art and Art History professor and director Steve McGuire acting director of the university’s Stanley Museum of Art. McGuire replaces Jim Leach, a former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and Iowa congressman who has served as interim director since January 2017.

“It was an honor and a pleasure to oversee one of the finest university collections of art,” Leach said. “Now that we’ve reached this stage of the search process, I feel confident that the museum is in a position to continue to showcase iconic works by diverse artists for years to come.” Leach will return to teaching and research in the College of Law and the Department of Political Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

McGuire received a Master’s in sculpture and a PhD in art teaching from the University of Iowa. He is a professor of metal arts and 3-D design and will serve as acting director until the search for a new director is complete.

“The Museum of Art has a mission to support education and research in the field of art and art history, which is consistent with my role in the School of Art and Art History,” McGuire said. “My job is to facilitate a smooth transition to a new director. We have strong candidates, and I don’t foresee the museum needing me for long.” The university has announced Catherine Hale, of Sheridan College, and Kathleen Jameson, of the Mint Museum as candidates; a third will be announced in the coming week.

The change in leadership comes shortly after Iowa’s Board of Regents voted to halt construction for a minimum of five months on a new $50-million museum building, Aimee Breaux reports for the Iowa City Press-Citizen. The construction freeze is intended to close $5.49 million funding gap approved by the Iowa legislature. Plans for a new museum were approved in August 2017with a projected opening in 2020.

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