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“A Great Month for MONA”

Museum of Nebraska Art
Ranked #4 of 21 things to do in Kearney
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA) celebrates the history of Nebraska's visual art for diverse audiences. MONA collects, preserves, researches, exhibits, and interprets the work of artists who were born, lived, trained, or worked in Nebraska or who created artworks that reflect the culture of Nebraska.
Reviewed 14 August 2013

This classical-style former post office makes for an impressive, if small, museum, with a constantly changing collection of exhibits, all by Nebraskans or related to the state in some way. The art is presented in modular fashion, with several galleries of rotating "classic" works, or exhibitions with a built-in audience, occupying the main floor. The top floor is usually given to emerging artists, with more quaint, accessible pieces displayed in the basement.

The bedrock of the place is probably its collection of the great "ashcan" artist Robert Henri's work, most prominently his portrait of artist/model Eulabee Dix modeling bridal costume. This month, the museum features an exhibit built around the portrait. It includes other pieces Dix modeled for, as well as her own eclectic work ranging from conventional oil paintings to fabric art. The curators have taken pains to outline Dix's life, including her struggles during the depression which saw her become delusional about her success, or lack thereof.

The energetic curation of the Dix exhibit is characteristic of the MONA. My favorite exhibit this month was the interactive gallery's collection of Grant Reynard's work, collectively titled "Art Speaks; Viewers Respond". These portraits feature staid, wealthy patrons reacting to then-radical works, including some now seen as bedrock pieces by Pablo Picasso. Reynard succeeds on several levels here, presenting a cogent critique of Picasso himself, the less than comprehending art audience, and the perceptions of the viewer. This is a remarkable exhibit, and one hopes that MONA can assemble further exhibitions with similar energy and imagination.

Also among the highlights of this month is an exhibit of original Western American photography by Peter Brown, accompanied by the text of Kent Haruf from their collaboration 'West of Last Chance'. Rounding things out is a collection of Wright Morris photographs along the classic Lincoln Highway from the forties and fifties, presented here to mark the Lincoln Highway's 2013 centennial. This is a very strong month for the MONA in many ways; if you visit other times of the year, you may see impressive works from the Audubon or Bodmer archives. Highly recommended for anyone interested in art.

1  Thank Stuthehistoryguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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61 - 65 of 84 reviews

Reviewed 8 April 2013

When I was growing up this building was the grand post office for Kearney. It makes an impressive art museum.

1  Thank richard962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2013

A lovely jewel in downtown Kearney, this museum offers paintings, drawings, sculpture and photography related to Nebraska.

Thank Skswany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2013

This is just an awesome Art Museum. Ever changing displays in a beautiful building...they also host many events. It is a great venue!

Thank Sheryl H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2012

we stopped in to browse for about 5 mins before closing and they welcomed us in. The art is from artists from the surrounding states as well as NE but it was impressive. Most don't think of NE as being able to pull of a musuem of art but it was fantastic. They invited us back that evening for an event with several speakers and snacks. They are good people and I will be back

1  Thank rustiredd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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