The UI is home to Intermedia, one of the first MFA programs in the world to encourage students to work across disciplines and media and with new technologies. This program began in the 1970s and drew upon resources emerging across campus that explored the legacy of Dada and Surrealism in post-war art. Also since the '70s, the Stanley Museum of Art has had a longstanding, collaborative relationship with UI Special Collections, which is home to the International Dada Archives and the Alternative Traditions in Contemporary Art Collections. This relationship has yielded major exhibitions, publications, and cooperative acquisitions, such as the recent acquisition of the Lil Picard estate. Within the Stanley Museum of Art collection, post-70s art includes significant paintings by Fairfield Porter, Lucas Samaras, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Horst Antes, Kazys Varnelis, and UI alumna Miriam Schapiro and Ellen Lanyon. Highlights of the contemporary sculpture collection include works by George Rickey, Beverly Pepper, Robert Arneson, Chunghi Choo, Lila Katzen, Damien Hirst, Charles Ray, El Anatsui, and Hans Breder.

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Collection Highlights

A human figure composed of found objects including lipstick tubes, jewelry, and hairbrushes, all smeared in white paint.

Lady Woolworth

Lil Picard
36 small squares painted different colors, with a handkerchief over each square, resembling a quilt.


Miriam Schapiro
A painting in a style reminiscent of graffiti art, with a background that is primarily blue, pink, and yellow. A square  (top left) shows an alligator eating a human hand. A face with a large mouth and teeth (top right) sits above a large white letter “I”. There are large letters and arrows in the center of the painting, and the word “Smile” off of which a small naked figure hangs by the neck. At the bottom, an upside-down face with sunglasses (tilted down) sticks out a long tongue which rests on the bottom


Luis Cruz Azaceta
The top of a bald head peeks over a grey wall, with the eye half visible. The head and background are a similar color of orange, which makes the head appear camouflaged.

Half Head

Horst Antes
Several L-shaped pieces stacked over and interacting with each other. Each has a gradient from white to black, creating the feeling of an optical illusion.

O and O and O

Kazys Varnelis
A tall skinny “Y” shaped piece of steel with two metal rods attached to each point that intersect with each other maxing the shape of an “X”.

Two Lines Oblique

George Rickey
A painting, primarily in shades of green, with birds of different varieties in the foreground. The background shows a series of scientific instruments and processes. Three dragonflies fly towards the upper right corner.

Alchemistic Egg

Ellen Lanyon
A human skull covered in swirling green and pink hues.

Happy Head

Damien Hirst
Two steel, pyramid-like structures emerging from the ground. The larger of the two leans towards the smaller.


Beverly Pepper
A bronze sculpture composed of two grass-like pieces that reach upward. The pieces each split towards the middle, bow apart, and come back together at the top, with the tips reaching away.


Chunghi Choo
A large outdoor stainless-steel sculpture with wide flat pieces that form a wave shape below and curl into a near circle on top.


Lila Katzen
A wooden sawhorse with a column of bricks tied above and below.


Charles Ray