Pohlman to receive ISU College of Design's Christian Petersen Award

AMES, Iowa -- Lynette Pohlman, director and chief curator of University Museums at Iowa State University, is the recipient of the 2004 Christian Petersen Design Award presented by ISU's College of Design.

Pohlman will be honored during the college's annual welcome reception, Monday, Aug. 23, at Iowa State's Reiman Gardens. The reception is from 6 to 8 p.m., with the award presentation at 6:45 p.m.

The Christian Petersen Design Award was created in 1980. It is given annually to alumni, staff and friends of the university for contributions to the advancement of design. The award is named for the noted artist who was Iowa State's sculptor-in-residence from 1935 to 1955.

Pohlman is being honored for her dedicated leadership and development of the University Museums, including the Brunnier Art Museum, the Farm House Museum and the Art on Campus Program.

"Lynette is a tireless proponent for a cause that is easily overlooked on the campus of a large university of science and technology. Her voice has helped establish the role of the arts as a vital part of our university culture," said Mark Engelbrecht, dean of the College of Design.

"Her steadfast advocacy of the important university function of visual and cultural arts literacy and education has led to the creation of the Christian Petersen Art Museum, which is slated for the renovated Morrill Hall building," Engelbrecht said.

In addition, as an adjunct professor of art and design, Pohlman teaches courses on museums and public art, and has made numerous opportunities available to students and faculty interested in museum-related studies and internships.

Pohlman has been with the University Museums since 1976. She earned her bachelor's (1972) and master's (1976) degrees in applied art from Iowa State.

She organized, curated and secured funding for more than 45 museum exhibitions at ISU. These include "Emperors, Shoguns and Kings" (1981); "Fiber to Glass" (1987); "Land of Fragile Giants: Landscapes, Environments and Peoples of the Loess Hills" (1994-96); and "The Golden Age of Glass: 1875-1939" (1999). She also has supervised and selected more than 50 exhibitions, featuring works by Dale Chihuly, Frederick Church, Ruth Hardinger, Jasper Johns, Robert Motherwell, Andrea Palladio, Grant Wood and many others.

As part of the University Museums' 25th anniversary observance in 2000-01, Pohlman organized and curated "Christian Petersen, Sculptor," the only retrospective of the artist's work. Thirty of Petersen's studio sculptures were conserved at that time.

Pohlman administers the Art on Campus Program and Collection, which includes the Art in State Buildings acquisition program that has completed 61 projects and added more than 275 public works of art to the ISU campus. With more than 475 major public works of art, the Art on Campus Collection is the nation's largest campus public art collection.

Pohlman oversaw 17 major campus art conservation projects, including Christian Petersen's "Fountain of the Four Seasons" at the Memorial Union and the "Gentle Doctor" at the College of Veterinary Medicine.

In addition, Pohlman conceived and developed several art education programs, such as Sundays at the Brunnier, Wednesday Walks, and Victorian Holidays at the Farm House.

She is an organizer of the Art In State Buildings Program, a founding member of the Association of College and University Museums and Galleries and a public art and museum consultant to corporations, schools, foundations and libraries in Iowa.