As universities across the United States continue to struggle with funding, legislators in Iowa may have come up with an out-of-the-box solution, albeit a controversial one, to the University of Iowa’s funding troubles. Even now, the University of Iowa is in the process of picking up the pieces after the devastating floods of 2008. In a bid to expedite this, legislators have introduced a bill that could force the University to sell its iconic Jackson Pollock painting, a masterpiece called ‘Mural‘. The proceeds will be used to provide scholarship assistance.
‘Mural’ is currently valued at $140 million and is one of the most important modern American paintings. It was gifted to the University in 1951 art dealer Peggy Guggenheim. In the previous decade, the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History had one of the best studio arts programs.
Incidentally, this is not the first time that the Pollock painting has proved a bone of contention. Regent Michael Gartner had made the same suggestion in 2008, in the wake of the floods. However, University of Iowa president Sally Mason had scuttled his plans. Like many of the University’s arts professors, Mason believed that the painting should remain at the University.
Incidentally, Rockford College, Fisk University and Thomas Jefferson Institute have all resorted to selling artworks as the economic scenario remains bleak. Iowa representative Nick Wagner said selling the painting could help keep tuition fees down in the future. However, art professors at the University of Iowa are completely against the move. One of them, Professor Christopher Roy said losing this painting would be “a terrible disgrace” for Iowa.
Via: Daily Iowan