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Through the Photographic Lens of King Au: Honoring Jack Trice

At the Christian Petersen Art Museum, Morrill Hall
Neva M. Petersen Gallery
Ongoing since January 17, 2023

John G. “Jack” Trice (American, 1902-1923) was a student football player who became the first African American athlete for Iowa State College (now University).  Suffering catastrophic injuries during his second football game against University of Minnesota on 6 October 1923, Trice died two days later. Honored at the time of his death, Trice’s legacy faded from memory until 1973, and since then his legacy endures and provides inspiration to many.  In August 1993 at a ceremony renaming the ISU stadium to Jack Trice Stadium, then ISU President Martin C. Jischke declared, “Jack Trice…exemplifies a number of heroic qualities, including determination, courage, enthusiasm and giving one’s all to an important cause.  He became a hero, not so much for what he accomplished, because his life was cut short, but for what he represented.”

Art has the power to commemorate, memorialize, celebrate, and honor. A hundred years after Trice’s death, this exhibition offers an examination of the artistic process and unique expressions of three campus sculptures created by three nationally known public artists all honoring Jack Trice and his legacy at Iowa State University. In photography King Au (Chinese American, b. 1960) was commissioned by University Museums to visually capture the site-specific sculptures through his creative lens.  Since 1995 Au has been photographing Iowa State’s Art on Campus Collection. For this photographic commission, Au captures Trice sculptors’, Christopher B. Bennett (American, b. 1953); Ed Dwight (American, b. 1935); and Ivan Toth Depeña, (American, b. 1972).  Au adds his own unique interpretations of Trice’s legacy to these three narrative and abstracted sculptural tributes on ISU’s campus.


The Conversation, 2022 by King Au

Self portrait of King Au




Learn More

Visit the exhibition Pub Pub


A Photographic Exploration of the Sculptural Installations of Jack Trice

A video created by artist King Au

Exhibition Programs

Find full descriptions of programs on the University Museums Calendar. All programs are free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged but not required. Events listed below will be at the Christian Petersen Art Museum unless otherwise noted. Programs are subject to change. Check the University Museums Calendar and Facebook page for the latest events information.


Fall 2023

Through the Photographic Lens: Interpreting Art on Campus and Jack Trice's Legacy

with King Au
Sunday, Sept. 10, 1:00–2:00 p.m.

Explore the artistic process of looking closely at the University Museums’ collection of works of art honoring Jack Trice’s legacy through this program with artist and ISU alumnus King Au, led by director and chief curator Lynette Pohlman and curator Sydney Marshall.


Jack Trice Anniversary | Christian Petersen Art Museum Special Hours

Sunday, Oct. 8, 1:00–4:00 p.m.

In remembrance of the 100th anniversary of Jack Trice's death, the Christian Petersen Art Museum and the exhibition Through the Photographic Lens of King Au: Honoring Jack Trice will be open on Sunday, October 8, 2023.


Spring 2023


Saturday, Jan. 21, 2:00–4:00 p.m.
Artist remarks at 2:30 p.m.

Join artist and ISU alumnus King Au for the exhibition reception and unveiling of his newly commissioned three works of art for the University Museums’ permanent collection depicting the campus sculptures of student-athlete Jack Trice (1902–1923).


Sketching on Napkins | The Jack Trice Tribute Story: Breaking Barriers

Sunday, Jan. 29, 2:00–3:00 p.m.

This program will explore the recent sculpture by public artist Ivan Toth Depeña that honors, commemorates and memorializes Trice's campus legacy as expressed through the power of art. A preview video featuring the creative process of creating Breaking Barriers with Depeña will be presented.


Sketching on Napkins Take 2 | The Jack Trice Tribute Story: Breaking Barriers

Thursday, Feb. 9, noon–12:50 p.m.

This program will explore the recent sculpture by public artist Ivan Toth Depeña that honors, commemorates and memorializes Trice's campus legacy as expressed through the power of art.


Art Walk: Athletics and the Body

Wednesday, March 29, noon–1:00 p.m.
Begins outside State Gym

Athletics and the depiction of the human form is a vital theme in both Iowa State’s history and the Art on Campus Collection. Museums Docent Steve Petska will lead an art walk in connection with the Honoring Jack Trice exhibition at the Christian Petersen Museum.


In Commemoration | Walking Tour

Wednesday, April 12, noon–1:00 p.m.
Begins at Christian Petersen Art Museum, Morrill Hall

Join Lynette Pohlman, director and chief curator, to explore the legacy of Jack Trice and Iowa State’s commemorative sculptures honoring this campus icon, as well as surveying the tradition of other commemorative sculptures at Iowa State. Walking required.


Open House Weekend

Saturday & Sunday, April 15 & 16, 1:00–4:00 p.m.
Christian Petersen Art Museum and Farm House Museum

Having trouble getting to the museum during the week? Enjoy the University Museums’ central campus locations and spring exhibitions during an open house weekend, Saturday & Sunday, April 15 & 16 from 1:00-4:00pm. 

Visit the Christian Petersen Art Museum

Hours: Monday-Friday, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Closed weekends and University Holidays

Closed Monday, March 13 through Friday, March 17, 2023 for Spring Break

Address: Neva M. Petersen Gallery, 0003 hallway Morrill Hall lower level, 603 Morrill Road, Ames, Iowa
Admission: The cost is free, however there is a suggested donation of $8.


This exhibition is curated by University Museums with support from the University Museums Membership and Advancement Council, including, Claire Andreasen, Marcia Borel, Kathy Howell, Art Klein, Anne Kohs, Beverly and Warren Madden, Frankie and Cal Parrott, and Diane and Jim Patton.

© 2023 University Museums, Iowa State University. All rights reserved.