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Ninety Years of Joslyn Art Museum

The Joslyn Memorial (now Joslyn Art Museum) opened to the public on November 29, 1931. An extraordinary Art Deco building featuring a concert hall surrounded by art galleries, the Memorial was Sarah Joslyn’s gift to the people of Omaha in memory of her late husband George, founder of the Western Newspaper Union. Sarah imagined a space where all could gather, free of charge, to experience the arts. When crowds filled the building on opening day, she remarked, “if there is any good in it, let it go on and on.”

On the occasion of our ninetieth anniversary, we reflect upon Sarah’s vision and the impact of the Museum’s art, architecture, exhibitions, and programming. Featuring a graphic timeline, highlights from across the permanent collection, and architectural renderings, Ninety Years of Joslyn Art Museum brings to life the remarkable stories of the formation and evolution of the Museum. This special installation recounts the culture of art appreciation in Omaha in the late-nineteenth century, traces the development of the permanent collection through gifts and purchases in the twentieth century, and looks forward to the opportunities for reenvisioning the Museum in the twenty-first century.

Ninety Years of Joslyn Art Museum also honors those who have been part of fulfilling the Museum’s commitment to making art accessible to all: donors, members, and community leaders who have supported us, artists whose creativity inspires us, generations of board members who have provided leadership, countless volunteers and docents who have given their time and talent, dedicated staff who work to advance the Museum’s mission, and of course our visitors who gather here to celebrate art.

This exhibition is included in free general Museum admission.

Above: Jackson Pollock (American, 1912–1956), Galaxy, 1947, oil and aluminum paint on canvas, 43½ x 34 in., Gift of Miss Peggy Guggenheim, 1949.164