Sheldon Museum of Art at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln has opened two new exhibitions — “Sheldon Treasures” and “Barriers and Disparities: Housing in America” — in addition to continuing its major feature “Person of Interest.”
“Sheldon Treasures” provides a fresh exploration of works from the museum’s permanent collection, and “Barriers and Disparities” is a new exhibition that invites dialogue about America’s history of inequitable access to housing. The exhibitions run through July 3.
For those people who wish to visit the exhibitions online, the museum offers virtual galleries and learning guides on its website.
The works in “Sheldon Treasures,” many of which are familiar to visitors, are given new context by being installed in pairs on the gallery walls.
“The collection was started in 1888, so many of the objects have been seen and enjoyed by generations of visitors,” said Wally Mason, director and chief curator of Sheldon. “Our job, as a museum, is to figure out ways to make those old objects relevant again.”
The reimagined format of “Sheldon Treasures” is a concept Mason brought with him when he started his position in 2014. Having done a similar installation as director of the Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University, he had grown fond of juxtaposing two works to encourage new interpretations of objects that might not typically be thought of together.
“That’s when the magic really happens,” Mason said.
Major works in the exhibition include visitor favorites by Edward Hopper, Norman Rockwell, Kay Sage and Albert Bierstadt.
The museum also has drawn from its holdings for the exhibition “Barriers and Disparities,” which features works by Ansel Adams, Gordon Parks, James VanDerZee and other notable artists.
“Barriers and Disparities” is part of Speak Up for Housing Rights, a collaboration of civic, legal, education and arts groups committed to increasing public awareness of issues of housing accessibility and eviction in Lincoln.
The exhibition presents housing-related works of art from selected moments in the history of the United States from the 1840s to the 1990s.
Sheldon adheres to all university guidelines regarding COVID-19. Face masks are required and social distancing should be practiced inside the museum. Additionally, the museum limits building capacity, provides hand sanitation stations and has increased the cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.