Monumental Collection Gift by Ed Ruscha Now on View

In 2018, Omaha-born artist Ed Ruscha (American, born 1937) made a significant gift of art to Joslyn Art Museum following the exhibition Word/Play: Prints, Photographs, and Paintings by Ed Ruscha (February 3–May 6, 2018). This incredible body of work is now on view in Gallery 17. Ruscha’s gift is a compact retrospective of his practice, surveying the artist’s wry and playful use of text and image. Anchoring the installation are drawings from the early 1960s through the 1990s that employ both traditional materials, such as acrylic and graphite, and more unconventional media, including gun powder. Ruscha’s printmaking prowess is also highlighted in several recent etchings, as well as the seven-color screen print, Standard Station, 1966, one of the artist’s most iconic images.

Complementing the installation are an additional twenty works from Ruscha’s personal collection made by his colleagues in Los Angeles, where he has lived since the mid-1950s. While Ruscha is recognized as one of the most influential California artists of his time, this gift acknowledges the friendships and collaborators that helped him establish his career. Seen in tandem, Ruscha’s two gifts allow Joslyn to tell a westward-looking narrative of modern and contemporary art through the lens of an artist born in the city of Omaha

What's Pictured: Ed Ruscha (American, born 1937), Artists, 1998, acrylic on paper, 30 1/4 x 39 7/16 in., Promised gift of Ed and Danna Ruscha

European Collection Catalogue

European Paintings and Sculpture from Joslyn Art Museum is the first publication to reexamine the Museum’s permanent collection in over three decades, marking a significant milestone for the institution and drawing well-deserved attention to the artworks in its care.

This new, richly illustrated volume presents 100 artworks from the collection, dating from the late thirteenth century to the early twentieth century and representing many of the most important artists, schools, and styles of European art history. Noted scholars and specialists in the field examine these works while considering artist biography, practice and technique, and cultural and historical contexts. An introductory essay written by Taylor J. Acosta, Ph.D., Joslyn's Associate Curator of European Art, offers an engaging history of the arts in Omaha and the formation of the Museum’s European collection.

This publication has been made possible with the generous support of The Hawks Foundation, Gilbert M. and Martha H. Hitchcock Foundation, Joslyn Art Museum Association, Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Robert Lehman Foundation, and an anonymous donor.

Now available in the Hitchcock Museum Shop!
$45 hardcover (Joslyn Member Price: $40.50); $35 softcover (Joslyn Member Price: $31.50)

The Maximilian Journals

Between 1832-34, the explorer and naturalist Prince Alexander Philipp Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied, Germany, embarked on a voyage into the furthest reaches of the American Interior. Accompanied by the Swiss artist Karl Bodmer, Maximilian set forth from St. Louis in April 1833 on a 2,500 mile journey by steamship and keelboat up the Missouri River, traveling as far as Fort McKenzie, Montana. Wintering at the Mandan village near Fort Clark, they returned downriver the following spring, having spent over a year amongst the tribes of the Upper Missouri. The watercolors that Bodmer produced on this journey remain one of the most perceptive and compelling visual accounts of the West ever created. Meanwhile, his patron Maximilian was equally hard at work on a journal documenting his scientific and anthropologic observations. Few historical chronicles are as informative and eloquent, describing the topography, Native peoples, natural history, and the burgeoning fur trade of the High Plains. Today, Maximilian’s journals are a centerpiece of the Joslyn collection, accompanied by his collection of over 350 watercolors and drawings by Karl Bodmer. 

In September 2012, Joslyn Art Museum published the third and final volume of the English translation of The North American Journals of Prince Maximilian of Wied, one of the most important documents of the nineteenth-century American West. Volumes 1 and 2 were published in 2008 and 2010 respectively. In 2008, Volume 1 was named the "Outstanding Nonfiction Book" of the year by National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. In the fall of 2011, Volume 1 received the Western History Association’s Dwight L. Smith Award, a biennial award recognizing outstanding bibliographic or research work. Earlier in 2011, Volumes 1 and 2 were reviewed by Stuart Ferguson of The Wall Street Journal, who called the works a "magnificent chronicle."

The North American Journals of Prince Maximilian of Wied — Volume 1: May 1832–April 1833;
Volume 2: April–September 1833; and Volume 3: September 1833–August 1834 are available in Joslyn Art Museum’s Hitchcock Museum Shop for $85 per volume. The Journals are edited by Stephen S. Witte and Marsha V. Gallagher. Volumes 1 and 2 are translated by William J. Orr, Paul Schach, and Dieter Karch with forewords by John Wilson. Volume 3 is translated by Dieter Karch with a foreword by Joslyn’s Executive Director and CEO Jack Becker.

Support for the Maximilian Journals Project has come from many sources. Robert Daugherty funded the completion of the translation in 2003. The Bodmer Society, Charles W. Durham, and Marlene and J. Joe Ricketts made timely contributions to support initial editing and production costs. Dorothy and Stanley M. Truhlsen, Arader Galleries, Ann and Steve Berzin, Judy and Terry Haney, Susan and Michael Lebens, Pinnacle Bank, and Phyllis and Del Toebben provided additional support. Joslyn was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the University of Oklahoma Press received funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Ultimately, however, it has been the extremely generous gifts of Howard L. and Rhonda A. Hawks and The Hawks Foundation that have made this important publication possible.