July 20, 2015
– This is the third season of predominantly
organic lawn and landscape care. As a result, Joslyn's campus has become an increasingly inviting and accommodating place for creatures like these monarch butterfly caterpillars (right), seen snacking on a milkweed plant in the Discovery Garden. A dozen monarch caterpillars have been counted so far this season, as well as one black swallowtail caterpillar, many other kinds of butterflies, a few clearwing hummingbird moths, and dozens of different bee species.
The variety of native bird species observed has also steadily increased, ranging from a bald eagle sitting on the north fence in the Parking Garden and a peregrine falcon cooling off in the Reflecting Pool, to a pair of gray catbirds nesting in the Veach Atrium Garden and a common yellowthroat warbler seen bopping around Discovery Garden. The presence of such substantial biodiversity is significant, especially in an urban place like downtown Omaha.
A lot of summer flowers are in bloom, and the gardens are bustling with activity. There are currently nine different species of native milkweed tucked in around the Discovery Garden if you’re in the mood for a scavenger hunt. Now is a great time to stroll through the gardens if you have not done so in a while.
July 13, 2015
– On Thursday, July 16, celebrate local art, local food, and the release of Edible Omaha
magazine's summer issue! Kyle Johnson, Joslyn's Landscape Maintenance Technician, will offer a tour of the gardens at 6:00 pm, introducing guests to the Museum's predominantly organic campus. His tools of the trade will be on display, and Kyle will be on hand to answer questions all evening. More details are available here.
June 29, 2015
– There are some new and returning sights in the gardens. The butterfly milkweed, native to Nebraska, was planted last season
near the main entrance to the Discovery Garden. It started blooming a few weeks ago and will continue to bloom all summer.
Part of the landscape bed in the
Discovery Garden has been recently renovated and turned into a rain garden (Kyle Johnson mentioned plans for the rain garden in this blog post
from October). It has been built to look like a dry creek bed. On a rainy day, the rain garden turns into a sustainable creek bed.
Two western kingbirds have decided to make Joslyn their summer home for the third year in a row. Pictured here in the American yellowwood tree is one half of the pair of western kingbirds. See if you can spot them on your next visit to the gardens!
In April, the Omaha World Herald had a feature on Kyle, his work, his philosophy on maintaining the Museum's predominantly organic campus. If you missed the article, you can read it online here.
September 26, 2014
– Anyone who enjoys working outdoors and getting their hands dirty can help keep Joslyn's campus beautiful. Click here
for information on becoming a Landscape Maintenance Volunteer.
September 25, 2014
– On Friday, October 3, the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum is offering free
arboretum tours at six gardens in Omaha. The gardens on the tour are all
Landscape Steward sites of the NSA. Participants are encouraged to come
with questions, or even photos, for discussion during the informal
tours. Free coffee and donuts will be available at the first tour stop
(9 am at Basswood Lodge), and a free barbecue will follow the last stop
on the tour (4-6 pm at the Omaha Public Power District Arboretum). Joslyn’s
tour starts at 1 pm at the Reflecting Pool.
For more information and for the complete tour schedule, please click here.
September 12, 2014
– On Wednesday morning, September 10th, with the help
of about 8 students from Blackburn High School and some of Joslyn’s own
staff, 15 oak trees were planted on the north side of Joslyn’s Parking
Garden as part of the ReTree Nebraska grant.
All of the oak trees
we are planting were obtained from the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum
greenhouse currently located on the East Campus of the University of
Nebraska in Lincoln. Although currently accommodated by UNL, the NSA is
an independent, non-profit organization. The NSA grows a wide variety of
trees, and everything they grow is from seed (mostly collected by them
personally) as opposed to being propagated by cuttings, tissue culture,
or grafting like almost all other commercially grown plants on the
market. Growing from seed maintains good genetic diversity, as opposed
to other 'cloning' methods such as growing from cuttings. If you have
bought a tree or shrub lately, chances are likely it is a clone.
is a site map of the oaks by Joslyn's Landscape Maintenance Technician
Kyle Johnson. As you check out the new trees, here is some information
to keep in mind:
- The 5 lefler oaks are naturally
occurring hybrids that were found in Lincoln, and Joslyn has 5 of only a
handful that exist.
The relic burr oak was grown from seed
collected from Burr Oak Canyon, which is one of the last known pockets
of native burr oak in the area—a group believed to have been growing in
that spot for 5-10,000 years!
- The tanniniferous oak was grown from seed obtained from Poland and is likely the only one planted in the state of Nebraska.
New Acquisition Now on View
August 22, 2014 —
Joslyn Art Museum has installed a new bronze work in its Peter Kiewit Foundation Sculpture Garden — Magdalena Abakanowicz’s Single
(1994). A recent gift of Gail and Michael Yanney, Lisa and Bill Roskens, and Mary and Charlie Roskens, the work is the first by Abakanowicz in Joslyn’s collection. Single
is on view now in Garden Gallery 1 (the northeast area of the garden).
Born in Falentyn, Poland, in 1930, Abakanowicz (pronounced ah-bah-can-oh-vitch
) began making sculptures in the 1950s as a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. She quickly garnered critical acclaim for her fiber-based installations and hanging textiles that reflected on her childhood experiences living in Nazi and Soviet-occupied Poland. In the 1970s, Abakanowicz turned her attention toward the human form. She is perhaps most well-known for portraying headless bodies, which are meant to echo the human inclination to follow charismatic leaders blindly, a phenomenon the artist witnessed first-hand during World War II. When Abakanowicz began to receive commissions to create public art installations, she expanded her materials beyond textiles to include bronze, wood, stone, and
clay. Her outdoor projects in recent decades have featured multiple identical figures, all oversized and often positioned in rows, to underscore the widespread dehumanization that accompanies totalitarian political systems. Joslyn’s new work is a single example of her bronze-cast, headless bodies.
Abakanowicz’s work can be found in public collections internationally, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Center for Contemporary Art, Warsaw; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; among many others.
Joslyn’s executive director and CEO Jack Becker noted the significance of the acquisition. “We are delighted to add one of Magdalena Abakanowicz’s figures to Joslyn’s collection. A major contemporary sculptor, Abakanowicz’s work is unmistakable. Each of her figures is completely unique, but headless, and often gathered together, her works explore themes of quantity, crowds, anonymity, and “the countless.” The meaning of her work gives viewers much to think about, and we thank Michael and Gail Yanney, Lisa and Bill Roskens, and Mary and Charlie Roskens for this important gift.”
(Above) Magdalena Abakanowicz (Polish, born 1930), Single
, 1994, bronze, Gift of Gail and Michael Yanney, Lisa and Bill Roskens, and Mary and Charlie Roskens, 2014.11
April 24, 2014
Omaha Public Power District’s Tree Promotion Program was designed to “actively promote the planting of trees, and to provide education concerning the value, selection, placement and welfare of trees.” Joslyn Art Museum is one of this year’s grant recipients, and as a result of this grant, will be adding nine new trees to the Discovery Garden.
There are three types of trees that the Museum is hoping to plant (depending on availability), all of which are very uncommon in the Omaha landscape. This includes the Korean Fir, the Seven Son Flower, and the Shellbark Hickory (pictured below).
The Korean Fir is a very unique and interesting small to medium-size evergreen, the Seven Son Flower will replace the existing Sumac in the Discovery Garden, and the Shellbark Hickory is a very slow growing tree, which is an investment for people to enjoy many years from now.