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University Of Iowa Museum Of Natural History

How Mammal Hall Became The Center Of A Project

A Glance at the UI’s Museum of Natural History

Miracle moved to Iowa City in the fall of 2018.

She and her son, whod just turned 1, visited the Museum of Natural History.

I absolutely fell in love with the space, Miracle told the Press-Citizen.

Miracle loved that it felt “old and timeless,” that it was free, that people could spend a short period of time or a whole afternoon there, among other things.

Immediately, Miracle began dreaming up a project in the museum.

Miracle met Lincoln-Vogel, cinematographer and editor of MAMMAL HALL through Roshandel, whod already been involved in the Mammal Hall project. The three collaborated on a film experience that was set at an Iowa City parking ramp.

I think we found a lot of kinship and so I felt like bringing these two into the Mammal Hall project and really shifting it towards a more cinematic collaboration, it just felt like the right next step in evolution, Miracle said.

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Lincoln-Vogel and Roshandel, who composed the score and music for the film, were captivated by the museum in their separate experiences upon visiting Mammal Hall for the first time.

The more that we spent time there, the more new things I basically saw, Roshandel said. I think for all of us, we just saw more layers of this space.

Over the course of several months, they met as a team and discussed the museum.

Escape Room At The Museum Of Natural History

A mystery is afoot at the UI Museum of Natural History. Professor William Reiner donated his collection to the University but the letter he sent with it has gone missing. This letter contains important documentation and museum staff have tried in vain to track it down, but havent had luck. Without this documentation, the futures of the exhibits are uncertain. You & your team of 5 will have 60 minutes to crack codes, solve clues, & solve puzzles throughout the gallery and find the lost letter. Are you up to the challenge?

  • Build your team, choose a date, choose a time on the hour, and register today! Team fees are $35
  • At this time we cannot take walk-ins. All reservations must be made online in advance. Bookings for a given day close at midnight the night before.
  • The UI MNH Escape Room is designed for those 12 and over. A supervising adult must accompany players under 16 years of age.
  • Please plan to arrive 10 minutes before your start time. Gallery doors cannot be reopened once the game begins.
  • Bring your best wits & detective skills because cell phone use is not permitted in the Escape Room!

We are hosting 6 Escape Rooms over 3 different dates, with 2 time options on each date. Register for your preferred date and time by using the links below:

  • Thursday, September 26

Campus Public Art Collection

The University of Iowa holds and continues to commission an extensive collection of public art. The program began under the Iowa State ‘Art in State Buildings Program,’ one of the first percent for art programs in the United States since repealed in 2017. The collection includes many important works, including works by artists: Sol LeWitt El Anatsui Dale Chihuly Peter Randall-Page .

Read Also: Houston Museum Van Gogh Exhibit

Art And Write Night Returns To The Ui Museum Of Natural History

The UIs Museum of Natural History has reintroduced Art & Write Night, a program that invites artists and writers into the space to use the museum as inspiration. In its return after COVID-19-related cancellations, Art & Write Night will occur on the first Friday of each month until the semesters end.

Olivia Augustine, Arts Reporter February 17, 2022

On the first Friday of every month, after the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History closes for the night, not everyone leaves.

The museum has reintroduced its Art & Write Night, a program where artists can visit the museums Bird Hall or Mammal Hall after hours and use its collections as inspirations for their writing or drawing.

The first Art & Write Night was held on Feb. 4, and the program will reoccur the first Friday of each month from 6 8 p.m. until the semesters end.

COVID-19 put a pause on Art & Write Night in spring 2020, but the program has returned with a few changes. Director of Education & Engagement Carolina Kaufman wanted to introduce optional writing and sketching prompts and use the last 20 minutes of the event for sharing.

I think it helps some people to have a starting place, so instead of handing them a blank sheet, heres something that you can kind of, you know, serve as a springboard for inspiration, Kaufman said. Even for somebody whos a professional or considered really well trained, theyre exercises theyre just for fun and to help let your mind run free.

Museum Of Natural History

Pentacrest Museums

The University of Iowas Museum of Natural History is the oldest university museum west of the Mississippi River. Featuring exhibits, education resources, programming, collections and research opportunities and FREE admission.

The Mi Casa, Your Casa 2.0 red frames, each in the shape of a small house, set alongside one another will be placed in three main areas of the pedestrian mall. Inside each casa, there is a swing and a ring of lights lining the bottom. When the house is empty, the lights glow dimly to welcome the next visitor. Once someone steps inside, the lights release a more powerful glow, indicating that someone is home.

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Notable Alumni And Faculty

Among the thousands of graduates from the University of Iowa, especially notable alumni include George Gallup, founder of the Gallup Poll Tennessee Williams, author of “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” Gene Wilder, comedic film and television actor Andre Tippett, NFL Hall of Fame linebacker James Van Allen, world-famous physicist and discoverer of two radiation belts that surround the earth, Emeritus Carver Professor of Physics at the University of Iowa Mauricio Lasansky, Latin American artist known as the father of modern printmaking, founder of the University of Iowas Iowa print group Albert Bandura, one of the most cited psychologists of all-time as originator of social cognitive theory Flannery O’Connor, novelist and author of numerous short stories Sarai Sherman, a twentieth century modernist painter whose work is in major national and international collections John Irving, novelist who wrote The World According to Garp, A Prayer for Owen Meany, and several others and Jenny Zhang , a modern writer and poet.Jewel Prestage, the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in political science, graduated with a master’s and a doctorate in 1954. Tom Brokaw, , and Ashton Kutcher also attended the University of Iowa.

University Of Iowa Libraries

The University of Iowa library system is the state’s largest library and comprises the Main Library, the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, five branch libraries, and the Law Library. The University Libraries’ holdings include more than five million bound volumes, more than 200,000 rare books, and 1000 historical manuscript collections. Significant holdings include Hardin Library’s John Martin Rare Book Room, the Iowa Women’s Archives, the Louis Szathmary culinary arts collections, the Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, science fiction collections, and works of Walt Whitman. The comic books collection in the Special Collections contains original art for 6,000 cartoons, film and television scripts, magazines and other underground or amateur publications, as well as mainstream books from throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

U.S. News & World Report 160

In 2021, the University of Iowa tied for 88th among national universities, tied for 34th among public universities, placed 108th among “Best Value Schools,” tied for 77th among “Most Innovative Schools,” and tied for 353rd in “Top Performers on Social Mobility” by U.S. News & World Report.

According to the National Science Foundation, Iowa spent $511 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 51st in the United States.

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Science On Screen: Stuffed With The Museum Of Natural History

Once a year, theaters across the country simultaneously host Science on Screen events, creating a coast-to-coast offering of thought-provoking programs that pair film screenings with explorations of science, technology, and medicine. This year’s “National Evening of Science on Screen” will be on March 24th. Local theater Film Scene will host University of Iowa Pentacrest Museum’s Director Liz Crooks and Director of Research Collections Cindy Opitz on Facebook Live at 7pm to learn more about the art of taxidermy, its role in a museum setting, and the museum staff who pioneered many of the techniques still used today. Their discussion will be in conjunction with the film Stuffed.

The event is free, via the Film Scene Facebook. The program’s associated film is available for virtual screening .

University Of Iowa Museum Of Natural History

Woolly Mammoth Excavation and Restoration at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History
University of Iowa Museum of Natural History

Entrance to the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History
Former name University of Iowa Cabinet of Natural History

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History is a natural history museum on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City, Iowa. The museum was founded in 1858 by instruction of the Iowa General Assembly as the Cabinet of Natural History. It is housed within Macbride Hall, located in the Pentacrest area of the university campus. The museum’s collections contain around 140,000 objects, including approximately 31,000 birds, eggs, and nests, 5,000 mammal specimens, 41,000 insects, 44,000 other invertebrates, 6,000 archaeological specimens, and historical documents and images from the museum’s history. The museum includes several galleries on Iowa’s geological and cultural history, biological diversity, and environmental science, spanning four floors. Major research collections include the Kallam Collection of prehistoric stone tools, the Talbot and Jones Bird Collections, the Frank Russell Collection of Inuit and Native Arctic artifacts, and the Philippine Collection of ethnographic materials from the 1904 World’s Fair.

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Focusing On Mammal Hall’s Space Not People

According to Lincoln-Vogel, the team was focused on making a dance film that wasnt about humans.

Miracle said that when she originally conceived the piece as a live performance, she utilized undergraduate and graduate student dancers who created movements inspired by animals. They were to perform in corners of the space and come together to create a larger scene.

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That idea didnt translate to film. It failed to capture the other qualities of the space, especially the animals behind the glass, Miracle said.

Miracle adjusted the movement so that the attention was shifted off people in the film, something Lincoln-Vogel reflected in his filming and editing.

Meanwhile, Roshandel built the music of MAMMAL HALL in layers, including sounds of people chatting or walking around the museum.

The process of shooting MAMMAL HALL happened organically, Lincoln-Vogel said. Instead of planning a shot, theyd just start rolling and build from there.

The next phase of the Mammal Hall project is to release an audio described version of the short film.

The experience that comes with a project like this is less about learning something the artists didn’t know and more about the time spent paying attention, Miracle said.

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