A section of “Mural” by Jackson Pollock. — Adria Charpentier/Petit Village

Sure, Wall represents a breakthrough, American ascendancy in the art world. Yeah, yeah, he has his own documentary film. And of course, the new Stanley Museum of Art at the University of Iowa where it sits is magnificent, gendering Burlington Street like the Voxman before it.

But what else should you look for in Stanley’s collections? I asked museum staff, interns and guides to provide their favorite and must-see items. You may have already received some of these recommendations in the museum’s recent social media posts, but here are a few more. All works are from the 20th or 21st century, and some are recent additions, acquired within the last five years. We listed the objects in alphabetical order by the artist’s last name, because we felt like it. A reminder that the museum is free, so take advantage of this old/new cultural resource in Iowa City.

Eric Adjetey Anang Fantasy coffins

“[They have] a rich history of the country of Ghana. These coffins, sometimes called “receptacles of proverbs”, are figurative coffins that relate to the life of its inhabitant; in many ways it is a final tribute to the lives lived, because of the images carved into the wooden receptacle. —Ann Donahue, teacher

“These hand-carved coffins have several meanings. The fish coffin would traditionally be used for a fisherman, fishmonger or, in the context of social awareness, the British colonial authority in Ghana and the burial rules imposed on the Ga peoples. Eric uses a traditional art form that makes part of his family’s inheritance to make statements about current events. » —Eliza Rose, teacher

Elizabeth Catlett, Glory (Glory)

“This bronze bust from 1981 exhibits [Catlett’s] ability to celebrate the strength and beauty of black women. Glory Van Scott was a performer and educator well known for her work as a principal dancer with several dance companies in the second half of the 20th century. —David Duer, docent

Sam Giliam, red april

“I feel something strong every time I come near it. You will see the stunning, rich texture achieved through the innovative way Gilliam manipulated the canvas before it was stretched – bending, painting and saturating , then applying additional elements as the canvas was stretched.The painting commemorates the pain and strife of the assassination of Martin Luther King.It is a rich, deep, enigmatic and very personal painting. —Barbara McFadden, teacher

Visitors to the Stanley Museum of Art observe “Red April” by Sam Gilliam

Abdoulaye Konate, Red Kente and World

“This is a magnificent textile located in Gallery 13. I urge visitors to simply stand in front of it and admire the intense colors of the vertical bands of ribbons in red (blood), black (earth) and white (spirits) For me, the three-dimensional fabrics feel intensely present in space, a very different type of presence than the painting equivalents.The textile is a total WOW! —Pat Hanick, teacher

Simone Leigh, #103 (Face Jug series)

“Her work pays homage to black women and connects Central African art brought by slaves to the United States and interpreted by Leigh in an exquisite sculpture/portrait. Curators put it in conversation with a portrait by Grant Wood and a photograph of Gordon Parks. —Laurie Zaiger, teacher

Patrons of the Stanley Museum stroll through the galleries on the second floor. — Adria Charpentier/Petit Village

Mark Rothko, Untitled

“I would recommend people spend some time with smaller works… My favorite is probably the little untitled painting by Mark Rothko that we have – I love it because it’s a bit funky and enigmatic (you don’t don’t have to “get” everything you look at!) It’s also an interesting pendant/precursor to more abstract works like Wall or the works that later defined Rothko’s own career. And I think on a larger scale too, that’s what’s so great [current museum exhibit] Back home — seeing all these works in conversation with each other really helps to make interesting connections between artists, mediums and cultures! —Allie Torkarski, Associate Curator of Student Engagement

Alma Thomas, Spring embraces yellow

“You should look Spring embraces yellow [accession number 1975. 103] for it will warm your soul. Alma Thomas’ works are vibrant and inspiring; they can brighten up the dullest days. —Kathryn Reuter, Academic Outreach Coordinator

Herve Youmbi, Bamileke-Dogon Ku’ngang MaskSeries: Mask Faces (VI)

“This work is visually powerful, conceptually disruptive and highlights the vitality of contemporary art practice in Africa. It also complements the strength of historical masks from Africa in the museum’s collection. —Cory Gundlach, Curator of African Art

Gouro style masks from Ivory Coast in the Stanley Collection of African Art. —Jason Smith/Little Village

Earthenware, Stoneware and Ceramics Collection

“I recommend visitors to the UI Stanley Museum of Art to view the museum’s collection of earthenware, stoneware and ceramic art in the Savin and Fieselmann galleries (galleries 3 and 4). Each individual ship is a magnificent masterpiece in itself, and the wall layout of all of them together is absolutely stunning. It took my breath away when I saw it. » —Anne Welsh

“You should take one of our self-guided tours!” They have been carefully designed for guests to explore objects related to the themes of the visit. A fun and new way to discover the Stanley collection. My favorite is Color Tour – Red. Color tours focus on the significance of particular hues across time and cultures. The presented color changes periodically. —Amanda Lensing, senior living program coordinator

An exhibition of ceramics at the museum. – Adria Charpentier/Petit Village