In the aftermath of severe flooding that caused $232 million in damages to the University of Iowa’s city campus, the Iowa Board of Regents advised the University museum to consider selling Jackson Pollock’s “Mural” to aid flood recovery efforts.
The painting, with an estimated value of over $150 million, is widely recognized as the defining work of Pollock’s career as well as a treasure of the state of Iowa and the most valuable piece in the University of Iowa’s Museum of Art.
If the University decides to sell the painting, not only will it lose the most prized work of its collection, but it will run the risk of losing its accreditation. This would damage the reputation of the University and the Museum’s potential to acquire and loan new art in the future.
A decision on whether the painting will be sold will take place at the Board of Regents meeting on Oct. 29. In the meantime, FEMA is sending $60 million in flood aid to the University to begin to repair damages to 20 campus facilities, $2 million of which was allocated to the Museum of Art. Most of the collection was recovered from the flooded building unharmed.
The Daily Iowan
newspaper spars with
college over free speech
Quinnipiac University warned its chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) that its funding and student organization status may be revoked on the grounds of a continued connection with The Quad News, an independent campus newspaper.
The free press struggle began on Aug. 28, 2008, when a black student reported a racial epithet written on the dry erase board outside her dorm room. Staff of the weekly student newspaper, The Quinnipiac Chronicle, wanted to publish the story online immediately, but the administration refused permission to post information about the incident on the Internet prior to the release of the paper’s printed edition.
The University had established a monetary stipend for the Chronicle’s student publisher and manager in 2006 to assume greater control over the paper following the publication of another controversial article. The editors of the Chronicle felt the administration was determined to protect its image at the expense of free press and formed an independent online newspaper, The Quad News.
University President John Lahey subsequently has attempted to stifle the dissemination of unfiltered campus news through the administration. He banned University staff from speaking with Quad reporters shortly after the paper’s founding and threatened all student organizations in cooperation with the independent online news source. Recent action taken against the SPJ represents the latest stage of a continuing First Amendment struggle that has captured national attention.
The Quinnipiac Chronicle
Compliled by Allison Gardner, contributing writer.