in a time of witness
The University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art announces the September 2023 release of In a Time of Witness, a publication highlighting the Museum’s celebrated collection.
Beyond a traditional exhibition catalog, the book pairs stunning imagery from the Stanley collection with original literary responses to showcase an innovative vision for art interpretation.
"If we are to love these institutions, we must bear witness to their hard truths fully, especially if there is anything like repair to be won. After all, isn’t ‘real love’ about doing the work of reconciling the good with the bad?"
Homeland, Sacred, Freedom
Writers in this book reflect the times. In a Time of Witness is organized into three sections that correspond with the tenets this generation eyes with its love: homeland, sacred and freedom. Editor Derek (DK) Nnuro argues, "if we are to love these institutions, we must bear witness to their hard truths fully, especially if there is anything like repair to be won. After all, isn’t ‘real love’ about doing the work of reconciling the good with the bad?”
Literary pieces appearing in each of the three sections range in theme, tone and resolution, coming together to tell more complete narratives of each idea. Similarly, their associated artworks range in artistic period, media and geography, collectively flattening art historical distinctions for more rounded understandings. In a Time of Witness serves as an invitation for readers to engage with works in the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art collection to continue their own story.
“The writers offer a refreshing opportunity for readers to engage with works from the Stanley collection in new ways, making art interpretation accessible and meaningful for a wider audience,” said Nnuro. “These interpretations not only add new thought leadership to the canon of these works of art but demonstrate the boundlessness of using a work of visual art for literary creation.”
“Readers are urged to bear witness to hard truths about love and invited to engage in the work required for real, committed love: reconciling the good with the bad,” said Stanley Museum of Art Director Lauren Lessing. “Powerful and intimate, the stories and poems in this publication seem to have been written with the artists rather than about them and their work.”
“Powerful and intimate, the stories and poems in this publication seem to have been written with the artists rather than about them and their work.”
Jamil Jan Kochai
Juan Felipe Herrera
Lan Samantha Chang
D. A. Powell
Carmen Maria Machado
A. M. Homes
V. V. Ganeshananthan
Tameka Cage Conley
De’Shawn Charles Winslow
Richard Diebenkorn (American 1922 - 1993), Ocean Park No. 17, 1968, oil on canvas, 80 x 72 inches (203.2 x 182.88 cm). Purchased with the aid of funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and matching funds from The University of Iowa Foundation, 1970.38.
George Rickey (American, 1907–2002), Two Lines Oblique, 1967–1969. Stainless steel, 300 in. (762 cm). Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Shulman, 1969.526.
Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987), Mick Jagger, 1975. Silkscreen on paper, 43 3/4 × 29 in. (111.1 × 73.7 cm). The University Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, Museum purchase, 1976.5. © 2023 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.