Director's Message

Joslyn recently celebrated one year of free general admission. Expressions of appreciation have flowed in from across the community as no-cost accessibility increased from two to 40 hours per week. Since implementing free admission, attendance has increased significantly, every day of the week. Sundays are especially busy, so the Museum now opens at 10 am and serves brunch in Café Durham. Overall attendance is up about 25% compared to the same time last year. Free admission has markedly impacted the Museum’s group tour program as well. Including both adult groups and school groups, the Museum has realized a 26% increase in the number of group tours and a 41% increase in the number of group tour participants.

We have some outstanding offerings for visitors this summer in the galleries. About 350 members attended the private preview of the exhibition of brilliant chromolithographs of Yellowstone National Park after Thomas Moran. The in-gallery conservation of Moran’s The Pearl of Venice is underway and already revealing a bright blue Venetian sky as old, discolored varnish is removed. The Mark di Suvero exhibition presents works on paper and sculptures and is an outstanding introduction to an artist with a monumental work coming later this year to Council Bluffs. The Karen and Doug Riley Contemporary Artists Project (CAP) Gallery presents a mesmerizing video installation by James Nares. Read more about all of these exhibitions here.

Public response to the return of Joslyn’s reattributed Rembrandt painting has brought renewed focus to the permanent collection. Media across the U.S. and in Europe shared in our excitement with extensive coverage about this important work and its incredible transformation. Read more here and come see this engaging portrait in person. In-gallery material introduces you to the artist, the sitter, and the painting’s incredible journey. Special thanks to the Joslyn Art Museum Association, honorary chairs Stacy and Bruce Simon, the event committee, and JAMA President Jeanie Jones for an outstanding Lecture Luncheon event spotlighting the Rembrandt.

Joslyn’s permanent collection has grown by several works recently acquired through gift or purchase. These important additions to the collection of art of the American West and the modern and contemporary collection — some on view now, some coming soon to the galleries. Read more in the Permanent Collections section of our website.

Remodeling and new construction is underway on the new interactive space opening this fall on the lower-level of the Memorial Building. The Weitz Family Foundation has given a major gift to build and endow this new center devoted to art experiences and other creative opportunities for family groups and individuals visiting the Museum. Members will have the opportunity to experience the space before it opens to the general public. Details coming soon.

See you in the galleries!

Jack Becker, Ph.D.
Executive Director & CEO

This spring, we at the Museum joined a multitude of close colleagues, friends, and family in mourning the loss of Philip J. Willson. A longtime supporter of Joslyn, Phil endowed the position of curator of contemporary art at the Museum in 2012. Formerly a member of the Museum’s Board of Governors, Phil was also among the first members of Joslyn’s Contemporary Art Society and acted as the group’s chairman. Influential and admired, Phil made a lasting impact on Joslyn’s future, and he will be dearly missed.