The University of Iowa in Iowa City has announced a $10 million gift from alumnus Richard Stanley and his wife, Mary Jo, for the construction of a new building for its art collection.
The gift, which comes from two generations of the Stanley family and was made as part of the university's Iowa Now campaign, will help create a new home for one of the leading university art collections in the country as well as provide space for study, research, and storage of the collection. The $50 million project represents the final phase of the university's recovery from devastating floods that hit the area in 2008. Currently, the university cannot exhibit art from its collections in the former UI Museum of Art building due to its proximity to the Iowa River and related insurance issues.
A portion of the gift comes from the estate of Dick Stanley's parents, C. Maxwell and Elizabeth Stanley, UI alumni who developed a respected collection of African art that they donated to the museum in 1985. Construction on the 63,000-square-foot building will begin in 2018, with a public opening planned for 2020. In recognition of the gift, the museum will be renamed the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art.
Longtime supporters of the university, Dick and Mary Jo Stanley provided funding for the Hancher Auditorium and the UI College of Engineering as well as the UI Museum of Art. Dick Stanley, who recently passed away, earned a master's degree in engineering from UI in 1963.
"The Stanley family has made an indelible mark on our university — and on the art world — and we are proud to name the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art in honor of their gift," said UI president J. Bruce Harreld. "Today, our university is stronger because of the Stanleys. With Dick's recent passing, the university has lost one of our strongest advocates and supporters. He will be greatly missed."