Museum lobby

About the Museum

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE — As an extension of the Center for Great Plains Studies, the Great Plains Art Museum collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets art and literature that cultivate awareness of and engagement with the diverse people, cultures, and natural environments of the Great Plains.

OUR HISTORY — The Great Plains Art Museum opened in 1981 after a generous donation from Dr. John and Elizabeth Christlieb of Bellevue, Nebraska. The Christliebs donated to the Center for the Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln their valued collection of western art, library of western Americana, and provided an endowment for the care and maintenance of the Collection.

The Christlieb Collection serves as the foundation of the Great Plains Art Museum’s permanent collection. The Collection consists of bronze sculptures, paintings and drawings, other works on paper, and photographs, and includes artwork by Albert Bierstadt, William de la Montagne Cary, Robert F. Gilder, William Henry Jackson, Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, and Olaf Wieghorst. The library contains an impressive 7,500 volumes, consisting of several Western novels and many other fiction and nonfiction books about the West and the Great Plains.

Since 1980, many generous donors have helped to enlarge the collection with additional gifts, including twentieth-century Native American paintings from Patricia J. and Stanley H. Broder, the Richard Lane collection of western fiction and history, and the Regina Collection of Canadian Plains literature. The Great Plains Art Museum is the home to many works of art by such artists as Lyman Byxbe, Ray Ellis, John Falter, Michael Forsberg, Charles Guildner, Veryl Goodnight, Cliff Hollestelle, Laurie Houseman-Whitehawk, Keith Jacobshagen, Ted Long, Herb Mignery, Andrew Peters, Martha and Del Pettigrew, Jackson Pollock, Norman Rockwell, and Grant Wood.

1155 Q St. (12th and Q streets downtown) | 402-472-6220 | @UNLGreatPlains | Free and open to the public

Ashley Wilkinson is the curator and director of the Great Plains Art Museum. Casey Seger is the Museum registrar. Reach them at 402-472-6220 or at