Title: Raymond Mollyneux Hughes, President, Iowa State College, 1927-1936
Dimensions: 58 x 49 1/2 in. (147.3 x 125.7 cm)
Credit Line: Commissioned by Iowa State College. Funded by the Alumni Association Presidents' Portrait Fund. In the Presidential Portrait Collection, Art on Campus Collection, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Iowa State University, Parks Library
Considered the father of Iowa State's public art program, President Raymond M. Hughes founded the first college wide art committee at Iowa State in 1928, charging the members with purchasing prints and paintings and curating exhibitions. In the 1930s, President Hughes realized the unique opportunity presented by the federally funded work programs for unemployed artists and began commissioning original works of art by Grant Wood and Christian Petersen for Iowa State at the height of the Great Depression. As a result of President Hughes's efforts, Iowa State has the two largest murals designed by Grant Wood in its collection and claims Christian Petersen, who came to Iowa State in 1934 as the first sculptor in-residence at any college or university.
The old portraits of the past thirteen Iowa State University presidents were brought together from different locations on Campus in 1990. The tradition of commissioning official presidential portraits began with President Hughes and was continued by President Charles E. Friley.