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Pioneering Artist Eve Drewelowe Featured in Digital Archive

The life and work of painter Eve Drewelowe (1899-1988) are celebrated in a new digital collection created by the University of Iowa Libraries and the School of Art and Art History. This pioneering artist, who in 1924 received the UI’s first Master’s degree in studio arts, is the focus of the Eve Drewelowe Digital Collection, available online at .

To unveil the digital collection and to celebrate women’s history month, the UI Libraries will host a reception from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 3, 2010, in the North Exhibition Hall of the Main Library. Joni Kinsey, Curator of the Drewelowe art collection, will speak briefly on the artist’s work and the significance of the collection.

In addition to her pioneering role as an artist trained in a university and a college of liberal arts, Drewelowe represents another “uniquely American phenomenon,” according to UI School of Art and Art History Professor Wallace Tomasini:

[A] farmer’s daughter in a sparsely populated agricultural area, far removed from great urban art centers, can indulge in her desire to become an artist; can enjoy the benefits of an education which introduces her to the literature, the history and the art of the great civilizations of the world, and can have the freedom to be an individual, to be independent and to do the unusual. From the beginning, Eve Drewelowe was a rebel, a challenger of complacency and the expected role career model for women. [from the book Eve Drewelowe. University of Iowa School of Art and Art History, 1988.]

After graduating from the University in 1924, Drewelowe went on to enjoy a lengthy career as an artist. She exhibited in nearly a dozen states and was a founding member of the Boulder Arts Guild; her work was shown at National Association of Women Artists exhibitions, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Denver Art Museum, and the National Museum of Women and the Arts. Drewelowe also became an art patron, funding a scholarship in her name for female students majoring in art at The University of Iowa.

Upon her death, Drewelowe bequeathed her artworks and personal papers to the School of Art and Art History. When the Iowa Women’s Archives was established in 1992, the papers were placed in the Archives on permanent loan. These materials have now been digitized in their entirety for the online collection, which features more than 700 items, including paintings, sketchbooks, scrapbooks, and correspondence.

“Drewelowe’s art is breathtaking,” says Kären Mason, Curator of the Iowa Women’s Archives. “And it’s exciting to see it made so accessible through the Iowa Digital Library. The Drewelowe Digital Collection brings together her artwork and her papers and gives people a chance to better understand the context within which she created her art. It’s great for scholars, but also for anyone who enjoys art.”

For more information about the project, contact Kären Mason, Curator of the Iowa Women’s Archives, at 335-5068, or Nicole Saylor, Head of Digital Library Services, at 335-9275.