Campus Collaborations
by Joyce Tsai

The University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art has a long history of collaboration with partners across campus and beyond. Each museum curator teaches, in a variety of contexts, in the College of Education, the School of Art and Art History, Kirkwood Community College, and the Museum Studies Program, and we also are part of the Public Digital Humanities Graduate Certificate.

Curator Kim Datchuk has promoted the use of our collections to create environments for inclusive teaching. Curator Cory Gundlach has continued to make the Stanley African Art Collection robustly available for an international audience through his stewardship of the Art and Life in Africa website resource. And Legacies Curator Vero Rose Smith is working with Kyle Rector, an assistant professor of computer science, to generate audible descriptions for low-vision visitors that will make objects in our collection universally accessible.

Through grants from Digital Bridges for Humanistic Inquiry, and the generosity of Hans and Barbara Breder, I also have created opportunities for students’ professional experiences in the museum. I did so by collaborating with faculty in the Library and Information Science program and creating partnerships with the Digital Scholarship and Publishing Studio and the School of Art and Art History. The UI recognized me for this work by honoring me as a distinguished mentor in spring 2018.

Our exhibitions draw upon the rich depth of expertise across campus. Last spring, I also curated Dada Futures with Tim Shipe, curator of the Dada International Archive in Special Collections, as well as with Jen Buckley and Stephen Voyce, who are English faculty members. This show featured an international symposium and will lead to a peer-reviewed, guest-edited issue of Dada/Surrealism highlighting the UI’s history of excellence in interdisciplinary scholarship.

Looking on the horizon, Jen Buckley and I also will co-direct the upcoming Obermann Humanities Symposium, What Can Museums Become?, which will explore new ways that the institution can serve as an incubator for transformative practices in teaching, research, and outreach.