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Watch the calendar, Joslyn fans; museum closes for two years in two months

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You have two months to visit Joslyn Art Museum before it closes for a major building project.

Joslyn, the principal art museum in the state of Nebraska, will shut its doors on May 2 for about two years to facilitate construction of a new $100 million pavilion, said Amy Rummel, Joslyn’s director of marketing and public relations.

The pavilion, set to open sometime in 2024, will be named for philanthropists and longtime museum supporters Rhonda and Howard Hawks. Howard Hawks is a founder of Tenaska, an Omaha-based energy company with offices in several U.S. and Canadian cities. He is also a former member and chairman of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.


Construction on a new $100 million pavilion at Joslyn Art Museum has already started, but the closure will be necessary as a safety measure for staff, visitors and art.

Work on the project — which will add 42,000 feet to the museum — has already begun. The long closure is necessary as a safety measure for staff, visitors and valuable art, Joslyn executive director and CEO Jack Becker said last year.

“We will take a temporary hiatus and apply the lessons we learned during the pandemic about how we can be relevant and connected to people online in different ways,” he said.

Rummel said museum leaders are planning a big weekend for visitors prior to the closing, but she wasn’t ready to reveal details about the event.


Heather Akers and her kids, Mira, 5 (far left), Nadia, 8 (third from left) and Isaac, 3 (far right), walk through the Arts of Asia collection at Joslyn Art Museum on Wednesday. The museum’s leaders are planning a big weekend for visitors prior to its temporary closing on May 2.

Special exhibits now at the museum include “Sonadora: Yuyi Morales,” featuring more than 60 artworks from 14 picture books by an award-winning artist and illustrator; “Faces From the Interior: The North American Portraits of Karl Bodmer,” the first Joslyn project to focus exclusively on the artist’s watercolor portraits of Native Americans; and “Ninety Years of Joslyn,” an anniversary exhibit with highlights from across the museum’s permanent collection, architectural renderings and a graphic timeline.


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Betsie covers a little bit of everything for The World-Herald's Living section, including theater, religion and anything else that might need attention. Phone: 402-444-1267.

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