UI seeks land development proposals for new Museum of Art

UI seeks land development proposals for new Museum of Art

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The University of Iowa released today its Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to identify potential partners capable of developing appropriate and available land for a new Museum of Art, to be located directly adjacent to the core of the academic campus and within walking distance for students. The university envisions the space as part of a larger mixed-use development, with a vibrant combination of university, commercial, and residential uses in keeping with the long-term vision of downtown Iowa City.

Detail of Blue Interior with Two Girls by Henri Matisse
This oil on canvas will be one of many items on display in the new UI Museum of Art collection once the new facility is built. Blue Interior with Two Girls, Henri Matisse, 1947, Oil on canvas, University of Iowa Museum of Art Collection, Gift of Owen and Leone Elliott, 1968.38.

“We are excited to take this next step toward bringing our University of Iowa Museum of Art collection back under one roof and into a location that will offer enhanced access by UI students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community. Ultimately, the selection process will help us determine the best partner to the university in our efforts to provide the Museum of Art with an exceptional new home,” says Sean O’Harrow, director of the UI Museum of Art.

All RFQ proposals are due at 2 p.m. (Central Time) July 1. The RFQ is available on the UI's Purchasing website at the following link: uiebid.ionwave.net/CurrentSourcingEvents.aspx?ReturnLoginURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.uiowa.edu/purchasing/vendor/ebid.htm.

A pre-RFQ information meeting will be held Thursday, April 10, from 9 a.m. to noon CST in Room 1117 University Capitol Centre (inside Old Capitol Town Center, near the International Center), 200 South Capitol St., Iowa City. The meeting will provide an overview of the project, a tour of the current Museum of Art space, and a presentation of the vision for the new museum. This meeting will allow interested parties to network so that respondents can consider the full range of potential collaborators. Participation is very strongly encouraged, but not required (see page 8 of the RFQ above).

Each development team will submit materials as detailed in the RFQ. Teams selected will be asked to participate in an on-campus, 90-minute interview to be scheduled Aug. 12-30. The session will also include questions and answers from the selection committee.

Following completion of the interviews and financial capacity verification, the selection committee, led by the UI Provost, will complete its evaluation process, and the results of the process will be reported to UI administration who will finalize selection.

The former UI Museum of Art (UIMA) building was flooded in June 2008, and faculty and staff were forced to evacuate the museum’s artwork and programs. The collection, with more than 14,000 pieces of art, was put into secure art storage off site.

The university has determined that it would not be feasible or responsible to continue to use the former building as a museum of art, as the collection can no longer be insured at that location. The new museum will be reflective of the UIMA’s status as a top university art museum and appropriate for the presentation and care of a high-quality art collection valued at over $500 million.

The UI is a major national research university located on a 1,900-acre campus in Iowa City in southeast Iowa, on the Iowa River near the intersection of U.S. Interstate Highways 80 and 380. The university comprises 11 colleges and enrolls more than 30,500 students each year.


Rod Lehnertz, Director, Planning, Design & Construction, Facilities Management, 319-353-2235
David Kieft, University Business Manager & Director of Real Estate, 319-335-5052


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