obituary Archive

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Lucy Hartmann

After working in Special Collections for a while, we meet many people who leave a lasting impression on us—collectors, donors of papers, students, and researchers, among others, who devote countless hours to their work in these collections. In the midst of comings and goings, some individuals stand out, and one of them deserves special recognition.

It is with heavy hearts, but also fond memories, that we remember the time we spent with Lucy Hartmann, who passed away on June 22. We got to know Lucy during the time she spent working in Special Collections through the UI REACH program. Lucy was dedicated to her tasks in Special Collections, helping us with filing, sorting, cleaning books, and other duties that helped us to tackle some things that we may not have otherwise been able to resolve. Her contributions to our activities were real and meaningful, and the focus she applied to her work impressed us all. We were able to share some of our favorite items in the collections with her, and were delighted to be able to throw a party for her to commemorate her graduation from UI REACH.

Lucy Hartmann at work in Special Collections.

Lucy Hartmann at work in Special Collections.

I speak on behalf of the entire staff of Special Collections when I say that she will be missed, that her time with us will not be forgotten, and that her efforts are truly appreciated as we continue to go about our daily business. Her time in our department may have been relatively brief, but the impression she made on us is something that will endure with us for a long time to come.

Over the years that we have been involved with UI REACH, thanks to the efforts of our Department Manager Kathy Hodson, we have been fortunate to be able to work with, and learn from, people such as Lucy and former students Alex and Jeff. We look forward to continuing this relationship, and to remembering Lucy by extending opportunities to more students in the future.

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Farewell to Elizabeth Catlett

Image of Catlett's final sculpture "Negro Mother and Child"The New York Times reported today that “Elizabeth Catlett, whose abstracted sculptures of the human form reflected her deep concern with the African-American experience and the struggle for civil rights, died on Monday at her home in Cuernavaca, Mexico, where she had lived since the late 1940s. She was 96. “
 
Elizabeth was among the first three students to be awarded the MFA degree at the State University of Iowa, and the first African American woman. Her 1940 thesis is in the University Archives; it is a discussion of her sculpture in stone, “Negro Mother and Child.” SUI (as it was known until 1964) was the first public university in the U.S. to accept creative works in lieu of written theses for the Master of Fine Arts degree.