photo by Josie Meister, courtesy Visit Nebraska
Published June 20, 2018
In many ways, you can get to know Nebraska by exploring its art museums.
From the high-class collections in sophisticated Omaha to the Western art and artifacts in North Platte, art museums in cities across the Cornhusker State help visitors appreciate the individual characteristics of the communities they represent. Travelers will find great art exhibits throughout Nebraska in venues as diverse as institutional museums and roadside trading posts.
This art-focused Nebraska itinerary begins in Omaha, in the eastern part of the state, and proceeds west to Lincoln, Kearney and North Platte before ending in Ogallala. From there groups can loop back to the east or continue west to Colorado. Along the way, travelers will discover college-town charm, a world-class zoo, Wild West shows and more fun experiences to enrich the trip.
Plan to spend five days on this trip across Nebraska, with two hours or less of driving each day.
Art and Marble in Omaha
Groups have their choice of activities in Omaha, which is the cultural capital of the Great Plains. But art lovers will want to head straight downtown to the Joslyn Art Museum, which was founded by a wealthy local family as a gift to the city.
The museum’s permanent collection has about 20 galleries, with pieces ranging across history from antiquity to contemporary art. Highlights include ancient Greek pottery, medieval and Renaissance art, and European and American impressionism. The museum also has a large collection of art of the American West, with works by the likes of Frederic Remington, Charles Russell and Thomas Moran.
Many guests find the museum building itself a sight to behold, with Art Deco architecture and 37 different kinds of marble. Outside the building are two sculpture gardens with a waterfall, a reflecting pool and a Rodin sculpture. Groups can arrange for tours of the museum and gardens, along with hands-on art activities.
While you’re there: The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium features a number of immersive habitats, including the Desert Dome and the world’s largest indoor rain forest. Groups can opt for the Zoofari experience, which gives them a bird’s-eye view of the zoo.