Cedar Falls – The Iowa Museum Association (IMA) will honor Lynette Pohlman, University Museums, Ames, Iowa; and Thomas J. Morain, Graceland University, Lamoni, with Leadership Awards on Monday, October 17, 2016, during its Annual Meeting.  The Annual Meeting is part of the IMA's Annual Conference, October 16-18 in Ames, Iowa.  Registration is open to anyone working in or interested in the museum industry.

The Iowa Museum Association Leadership Award is intended to recognize outstanding contributions to the museum field through visionary leadership.  Candidates are or have been employed in top leadership roles in museums and have made a statewide impact on the museum field.  The award is not intended for volunteer leaders of museums such as trustees, board members, and donors.

Lynette Pohlman, Director & Chief Curator of the University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames Iowa, since 1980, has shared her knowledge of building museums, curating collections, visual literacy education and fostering donor relationships through presentations, conferences, reviews and peer relationships statewide and nationally.  She has been instrumental in the establishment of public art programs in Ames, Red Oak, Clive, City of West Des Moines, and the Iowa West Foundation Public Art Collection in Council Bluffs.  She has been a committed supporter of Iowa artists, featuring their work in exhibitions. 

As administrator of the University Museums during a majority of its 41-year existence, Lynette has had primary responsibility for the permanent collections, museum facilities, historic home, and public art program, including administering the Iowa Art in State Buildings percent-for-art program. She currently oversees and is chief curator of the Anderson Sculpture Garden, Brunnier Art Museum, Christian Petersen Art Museum, Farm House Museum (a National Historic Landmark), and the Art on Campus Collection and Program.  Lynette is also an Associate Professor in the Art and Design Department, College of Design, Iowa State (1998 to present).

Thomas Morain, Graceland University, Lamoni, Iowa began his museum career at Living History Farms in 1981 and has continued to serve the cause of Iowa museums and Iowa history at both the State Historical Society of Iowa and Graceland University.  One of his most wide-reaching contributions is the establishment of the undergraduate internship program at Living History Farms, which began in 1982 and continues to this day.   Hundreds of students have come through this program, which has produced museum leaders and professionals in Iowa and across the country.  The program trains interns to understand the role of public history in inspiring the public to seek a more complete understanding of the past while providing exceptional public programs.  After fourteen years at Living History Farms, Tom Morain accepted the call to serve as administrator of the State Historical Society of Iowa for six years, following which he accepted a position at Graceland University.  Throughout his career he has continued to advocate for history education and excellence in public programming, serving as a consultant and speaker, as well as co-authoring the award winning Iowa Past to Present: The People and the Prairie, with Lynn Nielsen and Dorothy Schwieder.  In 2015 he served on the “Teaching Iowa History” committee of the Iowa Department of Education, a review of current educational standards and goal setting.

Cynthia Sweet, Executive Director of the Iowa Museum Association said, “Honoring Lynette Pohlman and Thomas J. Morain is meaningful not only for those of us in the field today who know them, but for hundreds of individuals who have been touched by their mentorship and leadership over the past several decades.  We are so happy that both Lynette and Tom will be present at our Annual Meeting on Monday, October 17th, to receive this recognition of their service to the museum field.”

Pohlman and Morain will be honored during the Annual Meeting of the Iowa Museum Association on Monday, October 17, 2016 at noon, Scheman Building, Iowa State Center, Ames, Iowa.  Advance registration for the luncheon is required.  Visit iowamuseums.org /Annual Conference to register ala carte for the luncheon

The Annual Meeting takes place during the Annual Conference which is open to anyone interested in or working in the museum or public history field. Visit iowamuseums.org /Annual Conference for schedule information and to register for the conference.

The Iowa Museum Association is a statewide organization, serving a constituency that includes art centers and art museums, botanical gardens, children's museums, historic sites, history museums, historical societies, living history sites, nature centers, natural history museums, planetariums, science and technology centers, and zoos.

The mission of the Iowa Museum Association is “Working in the interests of Iowa museums, the Iowa Museum Association builds organizational capacity, advocates to heighten awareness of the field, and fosters community.” 

For more information on the Iowa Museum Association, please visit www.iowamuseums.org or e-mail Director Cynthia Sweet at [email protected]