Nebraska will celebrate 150 years of statehood throughout 2017, but the birthday bash at the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln starts at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 1. “The Legacy of Nebraska: Paintings by Todd A. Williams” will open to the public on Statehood Day. Nebraska-born artist Williams spent five years creating paintings that depict historic, geographic, and figurative elements from each of the state’s 93 counties. He worked with historians, sponsors, and leaders in each county to identify significant subjects for the project. Some counties inspired more than one painting. A total of 124 pieces will be on exhibit through June 4 at 131 Centennial Mall North, Lincoln. In addition to the March 1 opening from 6:00-8:00 p.m., the museum will be open late on Friday, March 3 from 4:30-7:00 p.m. as part of Lincoln’s First Friday Gallery Walk. The museum is open daily except state holidays free of charge. Call 402-471-4782 or visit www.nebraskahistory.org for more information. Some of the paintings are available online at www.toddwilliamsfineart.com/legacy-of-nebraska/
This summer parts of the exhibit will tour to Grand Island’s Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer (June 17-August 20), and Omaha’s Gallery 1516 (September 1-October 15). Regional selections will be simultaneously exhibited at Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art, David City; Homestead National Monument of America, Beatrice; Gallery 92 West, Fremont; Dawson County Historical Society Museum, Lexington; and the West Nebraska Art Center, Scottsbluff throughout the rest of 2017.
“The Legacy of Nebraska” was named a Legacy Program by the Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission. It is part of a larger educational project that includes an art book (available at www.ne150.org). A documentary, “Painting Nebraska’s Legacy,” premieres at 7 p.m. CST, Monday, March 6 on NET television. The complete program schedule is at www.netNebraskaka.org/television.
The project is made possible by support of the Friends of the Nebraska 150 Sesquicentennial, Omaha Steaks, the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Humanities Nebraska, Nelson Family Foundation, Richard Brooke Foundation, Windgate Foundation, First National Bank of Omaha, Cornerstone Bank, and the Nebraska State Historical Society.