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Curatorial Statement & Credit Line

Published onJan 15, 2021
Curatorial Statement & Credit Line

Curatorial Statement & Credit Line

The paintings of Rose Frantzen have communicated the public identity of Iowa State University to an ever growing audience of students, faculty, and community members for the past six years. Her aesthetic contributions to the Art on Campus Collection encompass her talent as a landscape and portrait painter, along with exhibiting her great skill as a visual communicator. Frantzen’s paintings of significant Iowa State alumnus George Washington Carver with a young Henry Wallace, multiple portraits of Dean’s and department chairs from various colleges, a landscape commission, and the Faces of Iowa State series have greatly contributed to the Art on Campus Collection of Iowa State and how the past is presented on campus. Her newest commission for the Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business exhibits Frantzen’s ability to visually depict an identity of a College. This identity is formed by the contributions of many individuals preparing students for their career, from in class learning, to the outside industry which alumni influence around the world. The inclusion of Frantzen’s many portraits and landscapes to the University Museums Permanent Collection has allowed Iowa State to build a public and more representative legacy of the people and places that have played significant and continuing roles in the institution.

Perceptions of Identity aims to develop a better understanding of Rose Frantzen’s body of work. Frantzen's portraits, whether they are commissioned works for ISU or studio explorations of her subjects, continuously explore identity. Works from her In the Face of Illusion series open a conversation between the represented subject and optical illusions to address perceptions of identity. Her Faces of Iowa State series, to which Frantzen will add six additional portraits to be painted during the exhibition, highlight the breadth of the Iowa State community, focusing on depictions of individuals that allow the viewer to relate individual identity to the context of community.

The exhibition asks viewers to consider what visual information cultures use to understand someone recently encountered- can this initial perception be trusted? Similar to an optical illusion, people can logically recognize how their minds are deceived by implicit biases that all humans carry, but it is a difficult practice to name and confront those illusions or preconceived notions each carry. Perceptions of Identity challenges viewers to become aware of the illusions influencing society around matters such as age, race, ability, and to recognize the misperceptions held within oneself.


This exhibition is organized by University Museums, curated by Sydney Marshall, Assistant Curator, with works of art selected from the artist's collection and the University Museums’ Permanent Collection. Major support for this exhibition is provided by the Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business. Additional support is generously provided by Avis Lovell Andre, Vickie and Norman Hill, Robert and Nancy Lindemeyer, and Cynthia and John Paschen, MD.


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