History & Architecture
Joslyn Art Museum is the largest museum in the state of Nebraska and a cultural cornerstone of the city of Omaha for 90 years. The Museum was a gift to the people of Omaha from Sarah Joslyn in memory of her husband, George, who made his fortune as president of the Western Newspaper Union. Both Sarah and George were noted community and arts supporters; making their fortune in Omaha, they vowed to return much of their wealth to the city through their philanthropy. The Museum’s original 1931 building is one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the nation, with 38 types of marble from seven countries. The Walter and Suzanne Scott Pavilion, a 58,000-square-foot addition built in 1994, was designed by renowned British architect Lord Norman Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank, as his first U.S. commission. The Museum features galleries, a 1,000–seat concert hall, fountain court, education technology gallery, lecture hall, classrooms, sculpture garden, café, shop, and Art Works, an interactive space for art exploration.

Comprising over 12,000 works of art, Joslyn’s comprehensive and globally-recognized collections are a significant cultural resource for the community and the region. Highlights include a highly-regarded collection of Greek pottery and significant objects from ancient Asia; Old Master paintings by Rembrandt, Titian, El Greco, and Veronese; noteworthy nineteenth-century French academic paintings by Breton, Bouguereau, and Gérôme; and Impressionist masterpieces by Pissarro, Renoir, Monet, Cassatt, Degas, Matisse, and others. The American collection offers a historical overview of the major themes of American art through the 1930s, from an early Hudson River School landscape by Thomas Cole to major work by Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton. Especially notable in the American collection are works by artists and explorers of the American West, including major holdings by Alfred Jacob Miller and nearly 400 watercolors and drawings by Swiss artist Karl Bodmer, who journeyed up the Missouri River between 1832–34 to portray the landscapes of the high plains and its native inhabitants. Native American cultures are represented by a diverse collection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century artists. Joslyn’s post-1945 and contemporary collection includes impressive works by Pollock, Calder, Frankenthaler, Bleckner, Held, Judd, and others. Joslyn’s collection of works by living artists is growing and features John Divola, Brad Kahlhamer, Hayv Karman, Orly Genger, Jennifer Steinkamp, and many others.

Education & Outreach
Joslyn has committed itself to the role of leader in arts education. Over the decades, the Museum has offered a wide range of programs connected to art and history, and hundreds of thousands of school students have visited for traditional gallery tours. Today the Museum’s role is far more expansive. While Joslyn’s collections and exhibitions remain at the heart of programming, the Museum strives for visitor-centered experiences. Joslyn is a gathering place: a space for informal, life-long learning, where the community is invited to actively engage with art and with one another. At the foundation of the Museum's mission today is a dedication to provide opportunities that address the interests of a broader audience, including adults, youth and families, K-16 students and faculty, and under-served groups and individuals with special needs.

Education programs provide visitors of all ages with opportunities to learn from and respond to art, and to participate in many ways, including through their own creative expression. Programs range from studio art classes to book discussions, gallery talks to teacher trainings, yoga sessions to youth mentoring, poetry slams to lecture luncheons, mobile tours to modern dance performances, and so much more. Additionally, programming occurs off-site, offering art experiences throughout the city and building a more diverse museum-going audience for the future.

Accessibility & Community
For nine decades Joslyn has played a critical role within the Omaha metropolitan area. The first museum experience for many in the community has been at Joslyn, and generations have grown up deeply connected to the Museum. The Museum's primary audience remains Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa. Thirty percent of visitors come from outside of Douglas County. Expanding its presence beyond its walls, the Museum has a strong history of community partnerships. Collaborations with educational, social, cultural and civic, organizations strengthen the Museum’s connection with the city and Nebraska. In 2013, the Museum returned to the original vision of its founder Sarah Joslyn, granting free general admission to the public year-round. Free general admission has increased attendance and diversified Joslyn’s audience while strengthening the bond between the institution and the community it serves.