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Eve Drewelowe papers

Identifier: IWA0135

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Scope and Contents

The papers of Eve Drewelowe date from 1910 to 1996 and measure 5.5 linear feet. The collection is arranged in fifteen series: Biographical, Correspondence, Exhibits, Manuscripts, Art Career, Travel, Travel Journals and Writings, University and Van Ek, Travel SketchbooksI-IV, Travel Sketchbooks V-VIII , Scrapbooks, Photographs, Artwork Inventory, Miscellaneous and Audiovisual.

Series 1: Biographical series (1912-1990) contains documents on Drewelowe's family, early education and artwork, marriage, and handwritten notes for an autobiography.

Series 2: Correspondence series (1938-1988) contains personal and professional correspondence sent from and received by Drewelowe, and correspondence relating to Drewelowe's art and exhibitions.

Series 3: Exhibits series (1936-1991) contains brochures, catalogs, and invitations related to solo and group exhibitions, located in various locations including the University of Iowa and the Boulder Center for Visual Arts.

Series 4: Manuscripts series (1924-1987) contains writings by Drewelowe, including information on Drewelowe's health, correspondence with her doctors at Mayo Clinic, and a handwritten journal devoted to Drewelowe's medical history. This series also contains work related to Drewelowe's MA degree at the University of Iowa, and manuscripts about art and Drewelowe by other writers.

Series 5: Art career series (1938-1989) contains handwritten notes by Drewelowe about her art, memorabilia from the Boulder Arts Guild, the Artists Equity Association, and other art-related groups. This series also contains business cards and copies of Drewelowe's artwork reproduced in magazines or brochures.

Series 6: Travel series (1928-1959) includes itineraries, travel brochures and correspondence.

Series 7: Travel Journals and Writings series (1928-1959) includes journals, post cards, and memorabilia from Drewelowe's travels.

Series 8: University and Van Ek series (1944-1988) contains correspondence with the University of Colorado and the University of Iowa, and information about Jacob Van Ek's family and career accomplishments.

Series 9: Travel Sketchbooks I-IV series (1928-1929) consists of four volumes of sketchbooks Drewelowe filled with pen and ink drawings during her travels.

Series 10--Travel Sketchbooks V-VIII series (1928-1935) consists of seven volumes of sketchbooks Drewelowe filled with pen and ink drawings during her travels.

Series 11: Scrapbooks series (1927-1988) consists of two original scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings relating to Drewelowe and her art work.

Series 12: Photographs series (ca. 1910-1988) contains photographs of Drewelowe, friends, family members and travels.

Series 13: Artwork Inventory series (1927-1996) contains documentary information about Drewelowe's artwork, including artwork inventory files from 1995 and reproductions of artwork.

Series 14: Miscellaneous series (1927-1988) contains photocopies of a scrapbook and newspaper clippings, materials for the 1996 exhibit "Eve Drewelowe: A Life in Art" by Monica DeMott, limited edition posters, information about Drewelowe's career, and photographs of the artist and art work. Finally, it contains savings account books for the Drewelowe Gallery Fund at the University of Iowa Foundation.

Series 15: Audiovisual series (1975-ca.1990) contains audiocasette oral interviews and lectures, videocassettes of exhibitions, collection inventory, and documentary programs about Eve Drewelowe. Some videocassettes are in non-standard format; "A Celebration of Eve" master tape and 100 Years of Colorado Art are U-Matic 3M UCA20s, and Grant Wood and Eve Drewelowe, A Common Vision, filmed sets and artwork, are U-Matic 3M MBR20s and U-Matic Sony KCS-20XBR.


  • Creation: 1910-1996


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

Eve Drewelowe was born Eva Drewlow in New Hampton, Iowa, in 1899. Drewelowe graduated from New Hampton High School in 1919 and attended the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa), where she received a BA in Graphic and Plastic Arts in 1923. Drewelowe petitioned the University to establish an MA degree for her course of study.

In 1924, she became the first person to receive an MA in art from the University of Iowa, earning the degree in Graphic and Plastic Arts by studying painting with Charles A. Cumming and art history with Charles Weller; she was one of the first people to receive such a degree in the nation.

In 1923, Drewelowe married Jacob Van Ek, a fellow student at the University of Iowa. In 1924, Van Ek became an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and went on to become Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

During the 1920s and 1930s, the Van Eks toured Europe and Asia on grants that allowed Van Ek to study nationalism in emerging nations. Drewelowe exhibited under the name Eve Drewelowe Van Ek until the early 1950s, when she resumed using her maiden name. She exhibited in nearly a dozen states and was a founding member of the Boulder Arts Guild. Her work was shown at National Association of Women Artists exhibitions, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Denver Art Museum, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Drewelowe reinvented her art throughout her life and her work reflects various styles that emerged in the twentieth century.

In 1979, she received the University of Iowa Distinguished Alumni Service Award. In 1981, Drewelowe received a grant from the City of Boulder, Colorado, to reproduce in acrylic paintings of the surrounding landscape she had originally created in watercolor during the 1930s. Eve Drewelowe died in 1988.


5.50 Linear Feet

Photographs in boxes 1, 11-12, 14-15, 10 audiocassettes [AC1328-AC1337], 10 videocassettes [V409-V414] boxes

Language of Materials



Artist who attended the State University of Iowa and in 1924 became the first person to receive a masters degree in Painting and Art History.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 260) were donated by Department of Art and Art History at the University of Iowa in 1996. An addition to the collection was donated by the University of Iowa Foundation in 2008.

Existence and Location of Originals

Eve Drewelowe Digital Collection:

Related Materials

Photographs: In Boxes 1, 11, 12, 14, and 15.

Audiovisual: Ten audiocassettes (AC1328-AC1337) shelved in audiocassette collection and ten videocassettes (V409-V414) shelved in videocassette collection.

Marcia Kehl and Janelle Lupen (Colorado Historical Society), 1991; Kären Mason, 1998; Lindsay E. Shannon, 2009.
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Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)