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$500,000 gift to benefit University of Iowa Museum of Arts’ statewide collections-sharing project

September 5, 2013

Gift contributes to For Iowa. Forever More: The Campaign for the University of Iowa

Matthew and Kay BucksbaumIOWA CITY, IA, September 5, 2013 — A recent gift from Matthew and Kay Bucksbaum, of Chicago, Ill., will support a University of Iowa Museum of Art collection-sharing project that began after a historic 2008 flood damaged the museum and 21 other campus buildings.

The gift commitment of $500,000, made through the University of Iowa Foundation, will benefit “Legacies for Iowa: A University of Iowa Museum of Art Collections Sharing Project,” which brings small, pre-selected exhibitions from the museum’s collection—considered among the best held by a U.S. university—to approved museums, nonprofit galleries and art centers throughout the state of Iowa.

“We are so grateful to the Bucksbaums for their generous support of this visionary project,” says Sean O’Harrow, director of the UI Museum of Art. “They have allowed us to take a small project—which grew out of a difficult situation—and transform it into an innovative new way to share our art with the people of Iowa.”

The museum’s collection of 14,000 paintings, sculptures and other objects—which has been housed largely at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa, and in other sites throughout campus, since the flood—includes Jackson Pollock’s famous painting, Mural (1943), which renowned collector Peggy Guggenheim donated in 1951, along with other works of art.

“I’m really delighted with this program,” says Kay Bucksbaum. “It’s one of those things that makes you wonder, ‘Why did it take a flood to make us think of this?’ It’s such a logical way to share the UI’s outstanding art collection.”

Matthew Bucksbaum received a B.A. degree from the University of Iowa in 1949 and has been a leading figure in the world of commercial real estate. He and his brother, Martin, established one of the nation’s first shopping malls in 1954. Kay Bucksbaum received a B.A. degree from Grinnell College in 1951.

In fall 2013, the “Legacies” project will bring “The Power of Line: European and American Prints from the Etching Revival” to the University of Northern Iowa and Grant Wood’s “Plaid Sweater” to the Dubuque Museum in June 2014. The original “Legacies for Iowa” exhibition still is on view at the Figge Art Museum and features some of the most important paintings in the UI Museum of Art’s collection.

The UI is committed to replacing the museum’s facility, and the planning for that process is now underway. The university currently is studying options for funding a new building through private partnerships and donations.

About the University of Iowa Foundation

The University of Iowa Foundation’s mission is to advance the University of Iowa and fulfill the aspirations of those it serves. The university’s dedicated contributors fund a broad array of needs, from student scholarships, breakthrough research and life-changing health care to innovative facilities, community outreach and global education.

The UI and UI Foundation are conducting a historic comprehensive $1.7 billion fundraising campaign, For Iowa. Forever More: The Campaign for the University of Iowa, which will secure the UI’s status as a world-class institution for future generations.

The University of Iowa Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the University of Iowa. For more information about the foundation and the campaign, visit the foundation website at