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The University of Iowa opens the new Stanley Museum of Art, a public museum for both discovering and teaching art

The University of Iowa opens the new Stanley Museum of Art, a public museum for both discovering and teaching art

Following historic flooding in 2008, the building restores an art museum to the campus after 14 years.


By Novid Parsi, Contributing Editor | September 1, 2022
The University of Iowa Stanley of Museum
Courtesy BNIM.

The University of Iowa recently completed its new Stanley Museum of Art, a public teaching museum designed by BNIM. The 63,000-square-foot building restores an art museum to the campus after 14 years, following historic flooding in 2008. The Stanley Museum of Art reunites the school with its renowned collections and works, such as Jackson Pollock’s Mural, which had been temporarily held by art institutions around the world.

The University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art is a public museum for discovering and teaching art, as well as a center for campus connection. The building features a transparent main lobby and a new entry plaza for art displays, performances, social gatherings, and classes. A series of flexible gallery spaces offers students, faculty, and visitors space for observing, discussing, and exploring the collections. The galleries’ proportions allow for faculty to curate collections for teaching and research and for students to learn about curating, which is central to the museum’s mission.

The museum’s upper floors include a visual arts laboratory classroom where the collections can be used for teaching. Collaborative staff and volunteer spaces also support the research and teaching of the collections.

A dark, kinetic brick facade, with alternating brick texture and brick finish, reflects the changing sunlight. The lobby’s glass facade and a series of interconnected voids throughout the building establish connections to natural light and guide the visitor experience. Outdoor terraces also serve as spaces for socializing and school visits.

On the Building Team:
Owner: The University of Iowa
Design architect: BNIM
Architect of record: BNIM
MEP engineer: Design Engineers
Structural engineer: Meyer Borgman Johnson
General contractor/construction manager: Russell Construction

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