While the galleries are closed, we invited Joslyn members to share with us their favorites from the permanent collection, along with short reflections that describe why the pieces "move them." Thanks to our members for sharing the works they miss. We can't wait to see all of you, and the collection, in person again soon!






Grant Wood (American, 1891–1942), Stone City, Iowa, 1930, oil on wood panel, 30 1/4 x 40 in., Gift of the Art Institute of Omaha, 1930.35

Ann Stephens, Joslyn member since 1996
Stone City, Iowa, Grant Wood

Stone City, Iowa has personal meaning for me, recalling summer visits to my grandparents in a small town not far away. The countryside is painted in perfect shades of Iowa green, with trees and crops growing in shapes of brussels sprouts, asparagus, pears, and other food. The Wapsipinicon River flows through the valley. Cattle, chickens, a horse and rider, house and barn seem small and suspended in time. On the road into town, a Marlboro billboard ad claims "they satisfy." This painting satisfies me!



Helen Frankenthaler (American, 1928–2011), Monoscape, 1969, acrylic on canvas, 104 3/4 x 124 1/8 in., Museum purchase with funds from National Endowment for the Arts Museum Purchase Plan Grant and matching funds from Joslyn Women's Association, 1978.74

Aveva Shukert, Joslyn member since 1996
Monoscape, Helen Frankenthaler

I love abstract expressionists. This piece in particular gives me a feeling of calm and inner peace when I view it. The size and the color are very moving. I am always happy when I see it.




Roxanne Swentzell (Santa Clara Pueblo, born 1962), Transformation, 2000, ceramic, Museum purchase, 2000.26.a-n

Bette Tarrant, Joslyn member since 1989
Transformation, Roxanne Swentzell

Swentzell is highly regarded for her shaping of the vulnerability and strength of Native women into clay. For Swentzell, this piece is unusual in that it is more the one piece, shows relationships and tells a story. I feel like leaning in to hear them.





Grant Wood (American, 1891–1942), Stone City, Iowa, 1930, oil on wood panel, 30 1/4 x 40 in., Gift of the Art Institute of Omaha, 1930.35

Charles McGavren,
Joslyn member since 1996
Stone City, Iowa, Grant Wood

Stone City, Iowa always held my attention because it is a microcosm, a balance of light/shadow, color intensity/suppression, industry and agriculture, rural and urban. My family lived five years upstream at Independence and that river could be calm or raging. Wood painted the valley at peace. The work calms us!




Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606–1669), Portrait of Dirck van Os, c. 1658, oil on canvas, 40 ¾ x 34 ½ in., Museum purchase, 1942.30; Photograph © Bruce M. White, 2019

Dennis & Wilma Kelly,
Joslyn members since 2018
Portrait of Dirck van Os, Rembrandt van Rijn

We are lucky to have done extensive travel in the world and most recently spent some time in the Netherlands, and specifically Amsterdam. I am always drawn back to one of Joslyn's finest acquisitions, Portrait of Dirck van Os, by Rembrandt. What a masterful portrait it is - the details, the use of dark and light contrast - no photograph could be better. And that it has been so well restored and has withstood the test of time of now 362 years is in itself, quite remarkable. While in Amsterdam, we got a good education on the importance of the homes, their location on the various canals, and how at that time in the 1600s this was the very center of international trade and commerce. Looking at this fine portrait, I can imagine this man walking the streets of the old city, supervising various projects to better the prospects of his own business interests and those of the city area at large. It is a reminder that most good art is also a piece of history captured in art form for all posterity.



Jean-Léon Gérôme (French, 1824–1904), The Grief of the Pasha, 1882, oil on canvas, 36 3/8 x 29 in., Gift of Francis T. B. Martin, 1990.1; Photograph © Bruce M. White, 2019

Jan McCrudden, Joslyn member since 2003
The Grief of the Pasha, Jean-Léon Gérôme

With each visit to Joslyn over the years I must rest my eyes on The Grief of the Pasha. The epitome of the animal kingdom is humbly silent as the Turkish potentate perhaps contemplates his own fate that will someday be his. The tranquility of the palace offers the tiger a comforting resting place. The perspective and depth of space for endless contemplation and introspection is provided by the towering columns. The carpet cushioning the plush fur of the beloved, lit by the golden candles, is contrasted by the cool smooth marble. Grief has drained the Pasha who holds awesome authority and is completely powerless in the face of the death of his much beloved golden tiger.




Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926), The Meadow, 1879, oil on canvas, 32 x 39 1/4 in., Gift of Mr. William Averell Harriman, 1944.79; Photograph © Bruce M. White, 2019

Janiece Kinzle, Joslyn member since 2003
The Meadow, Claude Monet

I could look at the Impressionist artists’ work for hours! I love the work of Monet. His work is cheerful, calming, a wonderful view of light and nature at its BEST!








Robert Henri (American, 1865–1929), Consuelo in Black, 1924, oil on canvas, 32 x 26 in., Anonymous gift, 2012.6

Jess Peterson, Joslyn member since 2018
Consuelo in Black, Robert Henri

I see this piece during each visit to the Museum. Its dark, mysterious color first captured my attention and, then, it was the look in her eyes that told a different story. A story of trust, intelligence, and confidence in life.







Prince Maximilian of Wied (German, 1782–1867), Pages 224–225 of the Manuscript Journal of Prince Maximilian's Travels in North America (Vol. 1), 1832-1833, ink on paper, closed: 13 1/8 x 8 1/4 x 1 3/8 in., Gift of the Enron Foundation, 509.NNG

Julia Brooke, Joslyn member since 2020
Journals, Prince Maximilian of Wied

From my first visit to Joslyn, I am continually drawn to the Maximilian journals. The combination of art and words on pages which traveled the Missouri River with Prince Maximilian transcend the many years. My love of journaling, my walks along that river's shores, my own nature observations, all connect me to the artwork in a tangible, meaningful way.



Artist unknown, (Roman, 1st century A.D.), Head of Augustus, c. 20 A.D., marble, 9 in. high, Museum purchase, 1955.271

June Edwards, Joslyn member since 2005
Head of Augustus, Artist unknown

On a lighter note... The text accompanying the Head of Augustus is mostly a criticism of the efforts to re-cut the existing sculpted hairstyle from that of a Nero bust to one that favored Augustus. I look at my husband and see my handiwork that created his "Lockdown Locks" and have much sympathy for the unnamed artist.






Thomas Eakins (American, 1844–1916), Professor John Laurie Wallace, 1885, oil on canvas, 50 1/4 x 32 1/2 in., Gift of the James A. Douglas Foundation, 1941.24

Kathleen Doig, Joslyn member since 2018
Professor John Laurie Wallace, Thomas Eakins

You see the pondering face and the extraordinary hands against the dark hues of his clothes and the background. The white collar stands out; you think at first it's a clerical band, but no, it's an ordinary collar. Professor Wallace's bones probably lie somewhere in an Omaha cemetery, but his spirit is at Joslyn.






Kay Sage (American, 1898–1963), Men Working, 1951, oil on canvas, 45 x 35 in., Museum purchase, 1994.19

Kathy Kensinger, Joslyn member since 1995
Men Working, Kay Sage

My favorite piece in the entire Joslyn collection is the Kay Sage, Men at Work. The simplicity and the colors feel like Nebraska. It is a timeless piece that reminds me of the past while calling me to imagine our future. The expansive perspective reminds us to see the world as a place that is large enough to hold unlimited possibilities and diversity of ideas, while always calling us to aim high.





Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926), The Meadow, 1879, oil on canvas, 32 x 39 ¼ in., Gift of Mr. William Averell Harriman, 1944.79; Photograph © Bruce M. White, 2019

Laurine Blankenau,
Joslyn member since 1996
The Meadow, Claude Monet

I experienced a sense of tranquility when viewing this work by Monet. Like many, I've been rather solitary and am worried about our nation's trials. The Meadow let me escape to a smiling world where politics and the virus isn't intruding.



Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841–1919), Young Girls at the Piano,
c. 1889, oil on canvas, 22 x 18 1/4 in., Museum purchase, 1944.20; Photograph © Bruce M. White, 2019

Lucia Milone Williams,
Joslyn member since 1998
Young Girls at the Piano,
Pierre-Auguste Renoir

It might be predictable but I have to choose Young Girls at the Piano as a favorite for so many reasons. It is truly lovely. It reminds me of my sisters at our piano. Perhaps most importantly, it was loaned to the Art Institute of Chicago for an Impressionists' exhibit many years ago. I was in Chicago at the time and the piece was on the cover of a Chicago newspaper. A quote from the article, "Why should Omaha have such a beautiful piece of art?" amused and made me just a little angry that Omaha might be considered beneath something so wondrous. It made me realize that Joslyn Art Museum's presence in Omaha is a gift to our city via the enrichment the Museum provides us.




William Merritt Chase (American, 1849-1916), Sunlight and Shadow, 1884, oil on canvas, 65 1/4 x 77 3/4 in., Gift of the Friends of Art, 1932.4

Mark Rousseau, Joslyn member since 1997
Sunlight and Shadow,
William Merritt Chase

My favorite painting is the Chase, Sunlight and Shadow. It's intimate, and has an aura of uncertainty about the couple; one hopes they remain together!





Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917), Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen, modeled 1878–1881, cast ca. 1920/21, painted plaster, fabric, metal armature, on plaster base, 39 x 19 1/2 x 20 in., Gift of M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, 1971.271; Photograph © Bruce M. White, 2019

Martie Jaworski, Joslyn member since 2003
Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen, Edgar Degas

My pick would be Degas’ ballerina sculpture. I read several books in your library about how it came to be done. I found it very fascinating. I then shared it with my grandchildren. We also did the Museum’s Art Pack program and drew the dancer.






Sheila Hicks (American, active in France, born 1934), Mandan Shrine, 2016, linen, cotton, synthetic fibers, 118 1/2 x 53 1/2 in., Museum purchase with funds from the Joslyn Art Group, 2016.11

pastor sara, Joslyn member since 2005
Mandan Shrine, Sheila Hicks

The Mandan offer thanks to the One who saved them from the flood waters. Sheila Hicks’ Mandan Shrine feels like the visual representation of “the One who saves,” tying back the waters of chaos in colorful and beautiful ways. She does this in order to “make a way” for the people to be in safety. The piece radiates with the gratitude and prayer of our grandmothers, "all will be well."






Jennifer Steinkamp (American, born 1958), Judy Crook, 2, 2012, single-channel digital video projection, Museum purchase, bequest of Rose Marie Baumgarten, 2013.10

Richard Beam, Joslyn member since 2015
Judy Crook, 2, Jennifer Steinkamp

I find this piece relaxing and beautiful. Its cyclical nature reminds me of the permanent impermanence of nature and life. I seek it out on every visit. Wonderful!









William Adolphe Bouguereau (French, 1825–1905), Return of Spring, 1886, oil on canvas, 84 1/2 x 50 in., Gift of Francis T. B. Martin, 1951.889

Robert Marks, Joslyn member since 1996
Return of Spring, William Adolphe Bouguereau

My favorite is Return of Spring by Bouguereau. She has been regaled, reviled, and reinstated. She has survived two attacks on her person, and has bounced back as fresh and exuberant as ever. She mysteriously turned up in the 1870s in the movies! At 134 she looks great, even behind glass. Way to go, girl!









Dale Nichols (American, 1904–1995), Road to Adventure, 1940, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 in., Museum purchase, 1942.80

Roland Flessner, Joslyn member since 2018
Road to Adventure, Dale Nichols

Since seeing a feature on Dale Nichols on the PBS NewsHour, I have sought out his work, which deserves to be better known. The stylized landscapes and vivid colors are unlike anything else I've seen. I've admired more of his work at the Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art in David City, Nebraska, and at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin.




Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926), The Meadow, 1879, oil on canvas, 32 x 39 1/4 in., Gift of Mr. William Averell Harriman, 1944.79; Photograph © Bruce M. White, 2019

Sharron Howes, Joslyn member since 2002
The Meadow, Claude Monet

The Truth of Nature: The colors and images of the children walking across the field just pulls me into this piece of art. I salute the history of Monet taking the risk to showcase a new way to observe the arts as opposed to the former strictness placed on artists.




George Ault (American, 1891–1948), August Night at Russell's Corners, 1940, oil on canvas, 18 x 24 in., Museum purchase, 1955.189

Sheila I., Joslyn member since 2003
August Night at Russell’s Corners,
George Ault

Every element of this quiet, moody piece captivates. The composition places a light, and its reflection in snow, at the center of blackness. The perspective angles of the flanking buildings and utility lines are traced by the light, directing the eye toward it. This use of line, composition, and contrast is at once simple, subtle, and powerful. It calmly grabs your attention, stopping you in the gallery for a second look. The sense of mystery compels you to linger. It shares the timeless vision of hope in darkness. Promise in the unknown. The revelation of a path ahead.



Valjean McCarty Hessing (Choctaw, born 1934), Caddo Myth, 1976, gouache on paper, Museum purchase, 1992.41

Susan Gillies, Joslyn member since 2003
Caddo Myth, Valjean McCarty Hessing

For reasons I don’t fully know, this particular piece captured my mind and heart. It’s not always on display but I love to see it and think about it. And it invited me to learn more about the artist and the Caddo culture. I’m grateful.





Auguste Toulmouche (French, 1829–1890), Hour of Return, 1870, oil on canvas, 23 3/4 x 16 1/4 in., Bequest of Francis T. B. Martin, 1995.43; Photograph © Bruce M. White, 2019

Suzanne Du Rée, Joslyn member since 2019
Hour of Return, Auguste Toulmouche

I find this painting to be one of the most beautiful among the collection. I am drawn to this work every time I visit the gallery, as if stopping by to greet an old friend. I love the colors and the attention to detail in the background and in the luxury of the woman's robe. I believe this painting must have come from a private collection because it is very difficult to find any information about it - even on French sites This, in my view, renders the work even more special, knowing it can only be seen in person at Joslyn Art Museum. I hope this painting will remain in the gallery for visitors to view for its beauty, mystery, and charm.