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The Topel and Cheng Art Collection Exhibition

Periodical Room, Iowa State University Library

University Museums is pleased to work in conjunction with the University Library to exhibit the collection of Drs. David G. Topel and Jay-Lin Jane-Topel and Mr. Tung-Hsiang Cheng and Mrs. Chih-Fei Cheng. Along with their collection of art, the two families have generously donated funds to create and maintain this exhibition space to showcase their extensive collection of Chinese fine and decorative arts.

In 2014, working closely with the then Dean of the Library, Olivia Madison, and her staff, we agreed that the historic Periodical Reading Room, located in the William Robert Parks and Ellen Sorge Parks Library, would be a fitting location to exhibit the collection. The original 1924 library building’s stately architecture was designed to showcase art on its façade with the Nellie Walker bas reliefs, spacious and elegant interior spaces, and the Henry Chapman Mercer tiled fireplace. An extensive art collection has grown over time with murals by Grant Wood, Doug Shelton, Kurt Anderson, and Sticks; sculptures by Christian Petersen, Stephen DeStaebler, and Nina Ward; and the Presidential Portrait Collection. The addition of the Topels' and Chengs' collection of Chinese art provides the exciting opportunity to introduce a different form of art to be appreciated by all who use or visit the Parks Library.

The collaboration between the Topels and Chengs, University Museums, and the University Library furthers the education and understanding of Chinese culture by exhibiting the beauty of traditional Chinese arts and examining their impact on arts throughout the world. By doing so, the changing exhibitions further campus opportunities for enhancing global understanding and awareness, a long-time passion for the Topels.

The exhibition of scrolls and decorative arts changes annually.  Adrienne Gennett of University Museums, is curator of the Topel and Cheng Collection.

Visit the University Library

Check the University Library website for the most up-to-date hours and directions to the Periodicals Room:

Address: 701 Morrill Road, Ames, Iowa
Admission is free. 

Image: Teapot with Lid, 20th century, Chinese. Jade. Gift of Drs. David G. Topel and Jay-Lin Jane-Topel and Mr. Tung-Hsiang Cheng and Mrs. Chih-Fei Cheng. In the Topel and Cheng Art Collection, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, IA. UM2014.273ab

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