Jersey Jewels, Butter Cows
Norma “Duffy” Lyon (1929-2011) may have best been known to the world as “The Butter Cow Lady,” but she was also one of Iowa State’s pioneering female graduates in animal science in 1951. She met her husband Joe while they were students at Iowa State (read more about Joe Lyon and family in the next STORIES magazine), and trained with Iowa State artist-in-residence Christian Petersen. Duffy sculpted the life-sized Iowa State Fair Butter Cow annually for 46 years, as well as a selection of other works in butter. The creamy creations attracted worldwide attention to the dairy industry. While she primarily worked with butter, in 2007 she created the beautiful bronze Jersey Jewel on display at ISU’s dairy farm and a Jersey cow-calf pair on display near the family’s home farm in Toledo, Iowa. Duffy died in June 2011, the same year the State Fair celebrated 100 years of the Butter Cow.
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences congratulates Iowa State University University Museums on their 40th Anniversary
Want to know more stories about why and how Iowa State is one of the most beautiful campuses in the United States? The book “Campus Beautiful: Shaping the Aesthetic Identity of Iowa State University” explores the landscape, architecture and public art developments at Iowa State University over its 160 years. Researched and published by the University Museums, the 450-page book with over 400 photographs will be available September 2015. www.museums.iastate.edu.
Yosuf Asar, (1935-2012)
In 1998, Yosuf Asar, an Egyptian painter and art historian, came to Ames at the invitation of College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean David Topel. Iowa State was beginning a yearlong celebration of George Washington Carver, the African-American teacher and scientist and one of Iowa State’s most famous agricultural alums and faculty members.
“When I met Asar during a trip to Cairo several years prior, I was impressed by his interest and ability to tie agriculture and art together,” says Topel. Asar was quoted explaining the connection of agriculture and art.
“The history of art is closely linked to ancient people who settled down to farm. When you settle down, you begin to observe nature and to discover your faith. When I paint, I gratify nature and the creator in his creation. So, agriculture is the base for all the arts,” he said.
During his two-year residency he taught painting classes in the College of Design, presented lectures and assisted in other art and design courses. To commemorate Carver, Asar painted a major triptych mural Determination, Homage to Carver, and Eternal, which is permanently installed in the Food Sciences Building. He contributed 27 paintings to the Art on Campus collection of landscapes and portraits of alumni, faculty and administrators. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Design, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Office of External Affairs sponsored his appointment.