Art, Galleries & Museums
Governor Branstad, Members of Congress, and State leaders release statements on University of Iowa Hancher Voxman Clapp and Art Building East Facilities PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Iowa Governor's Office   
Thursday, 28 June 2012 14:36

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad, Members of Congress, Board of Regents President Craig Lang, and Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Administrator Mark Schouten today released the below statements upon learning of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recommendations to reverse previous Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) replacement decisions for the University of Iowa’s Hancher Voxman Clapp and Art Building East facilities.  As outlined in the agency’s initial response to the report, FEMA disagrees with the Office of Inspector General recommendations.

Governor Branstad and President Lang issued the following joint statement:  “The State of Iowa, the Board of Regents, and the University of Iowa remain committed to expediting a full recovery from the devastating flooding that occurred in the summer of 2008.  We are frustrated that different interpretations of internal FEMA policies are having real and negative impacts on the University of Iowa’s recovery.  Although the waters have long receded, the impact of the flood continues to hinder University students. A cultural void persists that has impacted tens of thousands of Iowans. We believe the Federal government should be held accountable for flood recovery progress, especially as we mark the four-year anniversary of the historic flooding event. Project delays due to differing interpretations of Federal policy four years after the flood are unacceptable, unwelcomed and counterproductive.”

Governor Branstad and President Lang continued:  “To prevent further recovery delays, we hope that FEMA’s national leadership responds to the OIG report in a matter of weeks, not months. We are now more than four years after this disaster and the University of Iowa, its students, the Iowa City community and the State cannot afford to put its recovery on hold.  We expect FEMA to do the right thing and reaffirm its previous decisions to replace these buildings.”

Mark Schouten, Administrator of the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division, stated the following: “An important element of an efficient recovery process is clear and consistent application of Federal policies. FEMA officials have repeatedly affirmed their decisions to replace the Hancher Voxman Clapp and Art Building East facilities and the University has relied upon FEMA’s decisions since the first analysis was completed in December 2008. In addition, minimizing future flooding costs by effective floodplain management is a sound long-term risk management approach that protects precious taxpayer dollars. If FEMA is going to change the interpretation of its policy, it should be a prospective change, not a retroactive change that penalizes the University financially for previous FEMA decisions and guidance. Flood recovery is difficult enough and retroactive measures would insert unnecessary uncertainty into the recovery process for communities across the country. The State and University of Iowa look forward to working with FEMA to resolve this outstanding issue expeditiously as the University and the State do not have the financial resources to shoulder the replacement of these facilities on their own.  FEMA has the opportunity to officially respond to the OIG recommendations, and we will work with FEMA to add our perspective to the policy debate.”

Senator Chuck Grassley stated the following:  "The effort by local and state leaders in Iowa to recover from the floods of 2008 has been extraordinary.  The circumstances merited the kind of federal assistance that has been given to disasters in other parts of the country where natural disasters have also caused such tremendous damage.  I've urged Administrator Fugate to give fair treatment to Iowa.  The inspector general has issues with the way FEMA has utilized its discretion on these projects.  The University of Iowa should not be penalized since it has followed FEMA's instructions."

Senator Tom Harkin stated the following:  “The inspector General’s report is not about law or regulation, but about a policy dispute that should not result in a withdrawal of committed FEMA funds.  Should the IG prevail in this dispute, it would be wrong as a matter of policy and would require the University to repay significant already spent funds,” said Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA).  “In addition, the Inspector General’s view is not likely to save taxpayers the dollars claimed because FEMA will have to pay 90 percent of the actual costs of repairing the buildings.  If the decision to build outside the flood plain is changed and the buildings are repaired instead, such repairs could well cost far more than what is now projected.  Spending tens of millions of dollars to repair damaged buildings that may well flood again is neither in the interests of the University nor those of taxpayers.

Senator Harkin continued:  “I have spoken to Administrator Fugate about these issues and I will continue to request that he disagree with the Inspector General on the University of Iowa funds.”

Representative Dave Loebsack (IA-02) said:  “Simply put, it’s inexcusable that students, our community, and Eastern Iowa jobs are caught in the middle of a bureaucratic argument over policy interpretation by people in Washington D.C. It’s unfathomable that almost two years after this project was approved, recovery funds could be taken back which is why I have already secured a commitment on the floor of Congress from the Chairman of Homeland Security Appropriations to work with us to ensure Iowa’s recovery and economy moves forward and that Iowa communities don’t pay the price for a bureaucratic disagreement.  Iowans shouldn’t have the rug pulled out from us after the federal government already committed to partnering with us to recover and rebuild from the devastating Floods of 2008.”

Representative Tom Latham (IA-04) stated the following:  "It's unfortunate that the Federal government appears to be sending mixed signals, wrapped up in the finest red tape Washington has available. As always, I stand ready to work with local and state leaders and with my colleagues in Congress to make sure all appropriate federal resources are made available to recover fully from natural disasters such as the flooding of 2008."

Representative Leonard Boswell (IA-03) stated the following:  "I am deeply disappointed by this sudden reversal from the Department of Homeland Security. It has been four long years and these buildings need to be replaced as soon as possible as this is hurting the recovery of the University. I urge them to do the right thing and reaffirm FEMA's original decision."

Representative Steve King (IA-05) said:  "It's disappointing that four years after flood waters ravaged the University of Iowa, the rules for rebuilding what was damaged may change. The University has already made significant investments in the recovery process in keeping with the guidance they've been given by FEMA. Injecting uncertainty into this process this late in the game will only serve to draw this four year effort out even further. I'm committed to working with the University, the state, and my colleagues in the delegation to ensure that the appropriate federal resources make their way to the University as soon as possible."

Representative Bruce Braley (IA-01) said: “Sadly, this isn’t the first time that confusion over FEMA policies have jeopardized Iowa’s recovery from the 2008 floods.  Retroactively penalizing the University of Iowa for internal policy disputes is simply unfair and unacceptable.  I’m committed to working with Governor Branstad and Iowa’s Congressional delegation to protect recovery funds that have been committed to Iowa and keep FEMA from reneging on their promises.”

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Figge Art Museum Opens Doors as Cooling Center Today and Friday PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Susan Horan   
Thursday, 28 June 2012 14:20

Davenport, IOWA (June 2012) In an effort to assist Davenport residents coping with the high temperatures, the Figge Art Museum will be opening its doors to area residents as a cooling center starting today through Friday at no charge. The Figge Art Museum is located at 225 West Second Street and museum hours are 10 am until 9 pm today and 10 am until 5 pm Friday.

Visitors to the museum can view two special exhibitions, in addition to the museum’s permanent collection.  Now on view are the exhibitions Waxing Poetic: Exploring Expression in Art, featuring poetry and works from the permanent collection, and David Plowden's Iowa, a photography exhibition highlighting scenes from across Iowa. The permanent collection includes works by Grant Wood, Frank Lloyd Wright and John Bloom.

On Thursday at 7pm, Bruce Carter, Leslie Bell, Erin Marie Bertram, Ryan Collins, and David Murray will lead the panel discussion “Poetic Words/Artistic Images”.  This discussion about artistic inspiration and expression is offered in conjunction with the Figge’s weekly series “Thursdays at the Figge”.

About the Figge Art Museum

The Figge Art Museum is located on the riverfront in downtown Davenport at 225 West Second Street. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and Sundays 12-5 p.m.  Thursdays the museum is open until 9pm. To contact the museum, please call 563.326.7804, or visit our website,


Civil War Sesquicentennial Exhibition to Open at the Library of Congress Nov. 12 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Audrey Fischer   
Thursday, 28 June 2012 14:08

Rare Documents, Artifacts to Reveal Human Side of the Civil War

To commemo­rate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the Library of Congress will present “The Civil War in America,” a major exhibition opening Nov. 12.

More than 175 unique items—many never before on public view—from the Library’s unparalleled Civil War collections, will be featured in the exhibition. “The Civil in America” will be free and open to the public, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, from Nov. 12, 2012, to May 23, 2013, in the Southwest Exhibition Gallery of the Thomas Jefferson Building at 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. The exhibition is made possible by the generous support of the James Madison Council. Additional funding is provided by Union Pacific Corporation, the Liljenquist family and AARP.

“The Civil War in America” will tell the story of the nation’s greatest military and political upheaval. Through diaries, letters, maps, song sheets, newspapers and broadsides, photographs, drawings and unusual artifacts, the exhibition will chronicle the sacrifices and accomplishments of those—from both the North and South—whose lives were lost or affected by the events of 1861–1865.

The exhibition will reveal the complexity of the Civil War through those who experienced it first-hand. It will feature pivotal documents, such as Lincoln’s own reading copy of the second Inaugural Address and Confederate Major Jedediah Hotchkiss’s strategic map made for Stonewall Jackson’s historic Shenandoah campaign, together with little-known gems, including the poignant diary of Georgia teenager LeRoy Gresham and moving war accounts penned by Union veterans who lost limbs in the war. The exhibition will offer a human perspective on the war and shed new light on the many ways that this terrible conflict helped shape the American people and the nation.

Companion programming is planned by multiple divisions throughout the Library and will be announced in the coming months.

“The Civil War in America” is the centerpiece of the Library’s commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. To mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the war—April 12, 1861 at Fort Sumter, S.C.—the Library featured nearly 400 ambrotype and tintype photographs of both Union and Confederate soldiers in an exhibition titled “The Last Full Measure: Civil War Photos from the Liljenquist Family Collection.” The exhibition, which was on display April 12 to Aug. 13, 2011, may be viewed online at

A Library-sponsored conference held last spring focused on the accomplishments of Civil War cartographers and topographic engineers from a multi-disciplinary perspective, and provided new insight into how their maps were used during one of the most difficult periods in U.S. history. The conference, titled “Re-Imagining the U.S. Civil War: Reconnaissance, Surveying and Cartography,” can be viewed online at

The Library, in association with Little, Brown and Company, published “The Library of Congress Illustrated Timeline of the Civil War” by Margaret E. Wagner, with an introduction by historian Gary W. Gallagher. The 240-page, hardcover volume, with more than 350 color illustrations, is a companion volume to the upcoming exhibition. It is available for $35 in bookstores nationwide and at the Library of Congress Shop, Washington, D.C., 20540-4985. Credit-card orders are taken at (888) 682-3557, or shop on the Internet at

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 151 million items in various languages, disciplines, and formats. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at

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The Figge Art Museum Announces the Appointment of Tim Schiffer as Executive Director PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Susan Horan   
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 15:09

Davenport, IA (June 2012) The Board of Trustees of the Figge Art Museum is pleased to announce the appointment Tim Schiffer as the Figge’s new Executive Director. He begins his new role August 1, 2012. The selection of Mr. Schiffer to head the museum is the culmination of a national search involving the review of hundreds of candidates, and it reflects the Figge’s desire to hire an accomplished leader with a passion and enthusiasm for art and an engaging personality.


“We're really excited that Tim is joining the Figge team.  He has an exceptional track record of success, a unique blend of both management skills and artistic perception and has many wonderful and exciting ideas to lead the Figge Art Museum to new highs.  Tim and his wife are very talented people.  Both the Figge and the Quad Cities will benefit greatly from this addition to our community," said Andy Butler, President of the Figge Board of Trustees.


Mr. Schiffer comes to the Figge from the Museum of Ventura County, a regional history and art museum in Ventura, California, where he has been Executive Director since 1999. In that time he has led a major expansion of the museum’s original facility and the creation of a new satellite agriculture museum, and has overseen significant growth in the museum’s programs, membership and community support. Prior to becoming Executive Director, he was curator at the Museum for six years, planning dozens of exhibitions and leading the redesign of its long-term history exhibition, funded through grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Mr. Schiffer received his B.A. in Fine Art from Yale and his M.F.A. in Painting from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was a lecturer in art and gallery director at the College of Creative Studies for eight years. He also managed the west coast studio of Kenneth Noland, an internationally known abstract painter. He has served on the boards of the Ventura Visitors and Convention Bureau, Ganna Walska Lotusland, and the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, and has been active in numerous other community groups. In 2011 he received the City of Ventura’s Mayor’s Arts Award as Arts Leader of the year. Mr. Schiffer is married to Pamela Kendall Schiffer, a professional artist, and they have three grown daughters.


“When we visited the Figge for the first time, Pam and I were amazed by the building and by the collection, and we liked the people we met—they were all so enthusiastic about the museum. I look forward to working with the board and staff and the community to help the Figge achieve its incredible potential. It is a real honor to be chosen for this position,” said Mr. Schiffer.


About the Figge Art Museum

The Figge Art Museum, formerly the Davenport Museum of Art, was founded in 1925 as the first regional art museum in Iowa. Since then, the Museum has pursued a community-centered mission, with a focus on programs, exhibitions, and collections that have made the institution an important regional cultural destination. The museum is located on the riverfront in downtown Davenport at 225 West Second Street. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and Sundays 12-5 p.m.  Thursdays the museum is open until 9 p.m. Admission to the museum and tour is $7. Admission is free to Figge members and institutional members. To contact the museum, please call 563.326.7804, or visit our website,



Carl Sagan Papers Acquired by Library of Congress PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Audrey Fischer   
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 10:46

The Library of Congress has acquired the personal papers of American astronomer, astrobiologist and science communicator Carl Sagan (1934-1996). A celebrated scientist, educator, television personality and prolific author, Sagan was a consummate communicator who bridged the gap between academe and popular culture.

The Sagan collection has come to the Library through the generosity of writer, producer and director Seth MacFarlane, and is officially designated The Seth MacFarlane Collection of the Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan Archive.

The collection comprises approximately 800 boxes of materials that document Sagan’s life and work and includes his extensive correspondence with scientific colleagues and other important figures of the 20th century. It also includes book drafts, publications files, “idea files” on various subjects, records of various symposia, NASA files and academic files covering the years he taught at Cornell University. Among the personal files are his birth announcement, handwritten notebooks of his earliest thoughts and grammar-school report cards. In addition to manuscript materials, the collection includes photographs, audiotapes and videocassettes. Researchers and scholars will be able to use the collection once it has been fully processed by the Library’s archivists.

“We are honored to preserve and make accessible to researchers the legacy of Carl Sagan, a man who devoted his life to the study of the universe,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “The Sagan papers are a rich addition to the Library’s already-outstanding collection of science manuscripts and other materials from such prominent figures as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Sigmund Freud, J. Robert Oppenheimer and E.O. Wilson.”

“Carl was the exemplar of the citizen scientist,” said Druyan, Sagan’s long time professional collaborator and his widow. “For him, the values of democracy and science were intertwined. I can think of no more fitting home for his papers than the nation’s library. Thanks to Seth, Carl’s prodigious life’s work will endure to awaken future generations to the wonders of the scientific perspective.”

Sagan and Druyan co-wrote several books, and the “Cosmos” television series and were co-creators of the motion picture, “Contact.” Druyan was the creative director of NASA’s Voyager Interstellar Record Project (

“The work of Carl Sagan has been a profound influence in my life, and the life of every individual who recognizes the importance of humanity's ongoing commitment to the exploration of our universe,” said MacFarlane. “The continuance of our journey outward into space should always occupy some part of our collective attention, regardless of whatever Snooki did last week.”

MacFarlane is the creative force behind the television shows “Family Guy,” “American Dad!” and “The Cleveland Show.” “Family Guy” has garnered four Emmys and seven Emmy nominations, including one in the Outstanding Comedy Series category. MacFarlane makes his directorial feature film debut on June 29, 2012, with the live-action and computer-generated comedy, “Ted.” His orchestral/big band album, “Music Is Better Than Words,” debuted at number one on the iTunes Jazz charts on Sept 27, 2011, and received two Grammy nominations, including Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.

MacFarlane has teamed up with Sagan’s original creative collaborators—writer/producer Ann Druyan and astrophysicist Steven Soter—to conceive a 13-part “docu-series” that will serve as a successor to the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning original series, “Cosmos.” Produced in conjunction with FOX and the National Geographic Channel, “Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey” will explore how human beings began to comprehend the laws of nature and find their place in space and time. By exploring never-before-told stories of the heroic quest for knowledge, the series aims to take viewers to other worlds and travel across the universe for a vision of the cosmos on the grandest scale.

Carl Sagan earned a Pulitzer Prize for his bestseller, “The Dragons of Eden: Speculation on the Evolution of Human Intelligence.” His science-fiction novel, “Contact,” became both a bestseller and a feature film. It is estimated that more than a billion people around the world have viewed his popular PBS show, “Cosmos.”

Sagan specialized in planetary astronomy. His early work on planetary surfaces and atmospheres is considered pioneering, and he made landmark contributions to NASA’s Mariner, Pioneer, Apollo, Galileo, Viking and Voyager space-exploration programs. For his unique contributions, he was awarded medals for Distinguished Scientific Achievement and Public Service from NASA, the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences.

A staunch advocate of the scientific method, Sagan was known for his research on the possibilities of extraterrestrial life, for his research and campaigns of public education on the dangers of global warming and the “nuclear winter” that could result from a nuclear war.

To examine Sagan’s legacy as a role model for future American scientists, the Library of Congress will sponsor a “Summit on Science Education” late next year. The event, which will bring together scientists, educators, policy-makers and students, will underscore Sagan’s conviction that it is critical to understand and appreciate the centrality of science in the everyday lives of Americans and to create a renewed national consciousness about preparing the next generation of scientists.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 151 million items in various languages, disciplines, and formats. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at

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