The Sheldon Museum of Art (SMA) is located on the urban campus of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and its promotional literature says that it contains the world’s largest collection of 20th century North American art. Its permanent collection comprises a wide variety of visual art, with significant holdings of American impressionism, early Modernism, 19th century landscapes and still life, Abstract Expressionism, pop, minimalist and contemporary art.
The Museum collection is actually an amalgam of the Sheldon Art Association collection (begun in 1888), and the University of Nebraska collection, assembled in 1929; combined the SMA contains over 12,000 unique works of art. Approximately 20 exhibitions are presented annually, drawing extensively from the Museum’s permanent collection. Many of the Sheldon’s exhibitions tour nationally, and in turn the Museum features exhibitions organized by similar institutions across the country.
The Sheldon’s Sculpture Garden contains over 30 monumental sculptures by major artists such as Gaston Lachaise, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Jacques Lipchitz and Richard Serra, among others. Education and scholarship play a vital role at the Sheldon Museum; the Stuart P. Embury American Art Research Library contains over 10,000 volumes concerning the history of American art, while a series of tours and outreach programs offers students and art enthusiasts the opportunity to explore all that the Sheldon has to offer.
Sheldon Museum of Art Information
- Public Transportation: Good (accessible by several Star Tran bus lines)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: Tuesday 10 a.m.–8 p.m., Wednesday–Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sunday noon–5 p.m., Closed Mondays
- Admission: Free to the public
- Tours: Available during most Museum hours but generally require two weeks advance notice
- Membership: Basic membership is $50 (Student e-members $15, Supporting members $80) and includes members-only tours, subscription to Sheldon newsletter, 10% discount at Museum Store, invitations to exhibition openings, and more.