Virtual Presentation Catalog

The virtual programs listed below are available for communities that provide housing to the aging population in Iowa (sometimes referred to as Senior Living Communities or SLC) and Iowa Senior Centers. Please review the requirements on our Request a Live Program page to determine if your organization has the technological capabilities to host a live virtual program.

Connected for Life organizes programming and content through themes that explore objects in our collections focused on art, archaeology, natural history, and historical archives. These themes help to unite the diverse collections among four world-class museum and library units at the University of Iowa (UI): Stanley Museum of Art, Office of the State Archaeologist, Pentacrest Museums, and UI Libraries.

The presenters are as follows: SM=Stanley Museum, OSA=Office of the State Archaeologist, LIB=UI Libraries, PM=Pentacrest Museums.

Available themes:


TopicDescriptionProgram TypePresenterClick to Request
The 1837 Ioway MapThis map illustrates villages and travel routes of the Ioway people. Learn about why it was created and see archaeological objects from sites located on the map.60-min presentation w/ Q&AOSARequest
Alexander Calder: The Man, His Mobiles, and MoreA discussion on this innovative American sculptor60-min presentation w/ Q&ASMRequest
The Art of CollectingWhat does it mean to collect something and why do people collect? What does it say about us as humans, society, and history? Explore the meaning behind the art of collecting. Audiences will get to meet people with unique personal collections and the stories their collections tell.60-min presentation w/ Q&APM & LIBRequest
Art Movements & Style: Romanticism to Abstract ExpressionismExplore some of the most well-known art movements through pieces from the Stanley Museum of Art collections.60-min presentation w/ Q&ASMRequest
Designed to Win: An Examination of Presidential Political ButtonsHow can one’s entire political philosophy fit in a 1-inch diameter space? What can something as small as a pin-back button do to rouse crowds into action, inspire allegiance for national support, or convince someone to oppose a rival? From the collection of J. Patrick White (Iowa alum), this exhibit examines the art and rhetoric of historic presidential campaigns and the buttons that were designed to win them.60-min presentation w/ Q&APMRequest
Hard Won Not Done: Untold Stories of the Suffrage MovementCommemorate the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th amendment. Presenting the exhibition, “Hard Won, Not Done: A Century’s Struggle.” we examine the suffragists’ work at the national, state, and local levels which carried us through our first step toward gender equality: a woman’s right to vote. A monumental step, it was but the first of many—some still ahead. 60-min presentation w/ Q&APMRequest
Lights, Camera, Action: Early Cinema in IowaA look at the Brinton Entertaining Company Papers and what they reveal about early film shown in Iowa.30-min presentation w/ Q&ALIBRequest
Looking Through Glass: From the Stanley Collections and on CampusThe history of decorative and studio glass seen through objects by Louis Comfort Tiffany, Dale Chihuly, and other artists.60 minute presentation with Q&A SM Request
Through Her Lens: Female Photographers and the Stories Behind Their WorkA discussion on female photographers including photographs in the Stanley Museum of Art collections.60-min presentation w/ Q&ASMRequest


TopicDescriptionProgram TypePresenterClick to Request
Crops of Ancient IowaThe roots of farming in Iowa go back more than 3,000 years. Evidence from archaeological sites and the oral histories of Indigenous peoples teaches us about these plants, who grew them, and the tools they used. 60-min presentation w/ Q&AOSARequest
Crops of Ancient IowaA shorter version of the above program for those with more limited time.30-min presentation w/ Q&AOSARequest
Grant Wood: NativeGrant Wood is the most famous artist to come from Iowa. We’ll learn about his life through his work and discuss his lasting impact on the state and the world. 60-min presentation w/ Q&A SM Request
Post Office Murals: Putting a Stamp on ArtA look at some of the State of Iowa’s 39 New Deal Post Office Murals. From 1934-43, there were 1400 murals created nationwide in 1300 cities. Learn about the artists behind the murals and their artwork in the Stanley Museum of Art collections.60-min presentation w/ Q&ASMRequest

Flora and Fauna

TopicDescriptionProgram TypePresenterClick to Request
Beyond Food: Ancestral Native American Use of Deer and BisonHunting was a vital resource for Ancestral Native Americans. Besides essential nutrition, bison and deer provided raw materials for everything from tools and string to musical instruments and beautiful artwork. Archaeology provide a glimpse into the creative uses found for these creatures.60-min presentation w/ Q&AOSARequest
Main Library Exhibit TourA guided virtual tour of the latest exhibit on display at UI Libraries.60-min Virtual Gallery TourLIBRequest
The Meskwaki Talking PapersAround 1830, Wacochaci, a important Meskwaki chief, created amazing pictographs on pen and paper that depict 100+ species of animals, birds and fish. View these pictographs and see archaeological artifacts that were created from or relate to species drawn by Wacochachi.60-min presentation w/ Q&AOSARequest
Native American Uses for Plants: Useful – Beautiful – SacredLearn about objects in the Pentacrest and OSA collections that illustrate the many non-food uses that Native People of North America found for plants. Plants from trees to grasses were utilized for building and wood carving, weaving and sewing, and creating colorful and beautiful objects.60-min presentation w/ Q&AOSA & PMRequest
Our Journey with Trees Take a journey exploring the historic, cultural, symbolic, and ecological diversity of Trees! Root yourself in the wisdom and healing powers of trees found right in your backyard and at the University of Iowa campus as an official Arboretum! The Pentacrest Museums also offer a monthly outdoor Tree Walking Tour experience, learn more here.60-min presentation w/ Q&A PM Request
Pets and Domestic Animals: Making Themselves UsefulArchaeologists usually find animal bones that signify food resources or invaders of food stores, but sometimes we find evidence that tells us about special relationships between humans and animals. Domestic animals were companions, assisted with labor, and may have played symbolic roles in the spiritual and cultural lives of the site inhabitants. Here we examine artifacts at OSA that teach us about humans and their animals in Iowa’s past.60-min presentation w/ Q&AOSARequest
Still Life: Bringing the Story Behind the Genre to the TableA discussion of the still life genre using examples from the Stanley Museum of Art collections.60-min presentation w/ Q&ASMRequest
Stopping to Smell the FlowersA quick history of botanical books and illustrations.30-min presentation w/ Q&ALIBRequest


TopicDescriptionProgram TypePresenterClick to Request
At Home in Iowa: The Archaeology of Homes in the 19th and 14th CenturiesComparing objects and features found during archaeological excavations from a 19th century dairy farmstead in eastern Iowa and a 14th century ancestral Native American earthlodge home in western Iowa. 60-min presentation w/ Q&A OSA Request
Face-To-Face: Talking about Portraits from the Stanley CollectionsTaking a closer look at 23 portraits from 1820-1984.60-min presentation w/ Q&ASMRequest
Fake it till you Make It: Story of the Shakespeare ForgeriesIn 1795, London was rocked with the news that original papers written in Shakespeare’s hand had emerged. Notes, legal documents and even an unknown play had been found in an old trunk. Or so the story went. Join the UI Libraries on this bizarre tale of how a young law clerk named William Henry Ireland created a frenzy in the scholarly world with his Shakespeare forgeries. 30-min presentation w/ Q&ALIBRequest
Overalls: Fastening the Garment to Art From the fields to the studios to the gallery walls, a look at the history of bibs and their association with the arts.60-min presentation w/ Q&ASMRequest
Style and Adornment from the Past – What Are People Saying?When people choose what clothing and adornments to wear, they send messages to those around them. For those “in the know” these choices can reflect cultural rank or status, particular skills, or spiritual relationships. This program takes a deep dive into OSA collections to examine artifacts associated with personal adornment, from 18th-20th century Euroamerican and Native American sites and from Ancestral Native American sites dating back 1000+ years. Can we understand what people of the past were communicating?60-min presentation w/ Q&AOSARequest
We Are What We Wear: Fashion Through the AgesWhat is fashion? What is style? Are we what we wear? Looking at the ways in which people of different times and cultures used clothing and adornment to express themselves and fit into the cultural norms of their times.60-min presentation w/ Q&AOSA, SM, PM, & LIBRequest

Iowa Road Trips

TopicDescriptionProgram TypePresenterClick to Request
An Iowa Archaeology Road Trip Explore the range and diversity of artifacts types in Iowa, from deep time to recent history, and learn about the people these objects tell a story about.60-min presentation w/ Q&A OSA Request

Personal Collections

TopicDescriptionProgram TypePresenterClick to Request
The Art of Collecting What does it mean to collect something and why do people collect? What does it say about us as humans, society, and history? Explore the meaning behind the art of collecting. Audiences will get to meet people with unique personal collections and the stories their collections tell. 60-min presentation w/ Q&A PM & LIB Request
The Art of Show and TellWe’re going to learn more about art (paintings, jewelry, ceramics, photography, sculpture…) while learning more about each other. The Stanley Museum of Art will lead the show and tell with objects from the their collections and continue the conversation with participants while applying the Elements of Art (line, shape, form, space, texture, value, and color). 1) Show a piece of art or craft from your collection – one you created or one that was gifted to you. 2) Tell us why it’s important to you.60-min presentation w/ Q&A SMRequest
Avocational Archaeologists: Collectors Helping Preserve Iowa’s PastIowans have been enthusiastic about artifact hunting for generations. When conscientious avocational archaeologists partner with professionals, we build our knowledge of the archaeological past in ways we couldn’t do alone. We focus on four collectors who have made important contributions to our understanding of Iowa archaeology.60-min presentation w/ Q&AOSARequest
Cooking with Szathmary A look at the Culinary Cookbook Collection in the UI Library’s Special Collections. 60-min presentation w/ Q&A LIB Request
The Impacts of Fakes, Forgeries, and Natural Objects on Building Archaeological KnowledgeIn archaeology, what defines an artifact? How do we tell when something is natural versus human-made or authentic versus a forgery? When it comes to personal collections, does it matter? We explore how archaeologists define artifacts, laws and ethics that strive to guide the the hobby of artifact hunting, and how forgeries and the buying and selling of artifacts impact our study of the past.60-min presentation w/ Q&AOSARequest
TopicDescriptionProgram TypePresenterClick to Request
Iowa Hall TourA 500-million-year adventure through Iowa’s geological, cultural, and ecological history.60-min Virtual Gallery TourPMRequest
Main Library Exhibit TourA guided virtual tour of the latest exhibit on display at UI Libraries.60-min Virtual Gallery TourLIBRequest
The Old Capitol Tour: Stories under the Golden DomeThe Old Capitol dome is the University of Iowa’s logo and remains one of the most recognizable images and landmarks in the state of Iowa.  In the 175 years since the cornerstone was laid, the building has undergone multiple additions and renovations, as well as surviving a major fire in 2001. Travel back in time to discover the many fascinating stories, people, events, and societal impact this building witnessed over its 175 years of existence.60-min Virtual Gallery TourPMRequest