Gerald Ford Conservation Center

Curtain Call

Many of the rural opera houses that once covered Nebraska are gone, but their painted curtains are often still around. Our Ford Conservation Center recently restored the curtain that decorated the Kearney Opera house for nearly 20 years.

"The Artist"

When a fire damaged Lila Vamosi's drawing "The Artist," she turned to our Gerald Ford Conservation Center to restore it. Although it still shows some scars, they now serve to tell a new story.

Creighton Side Saddle - The Big Reveal

The treatment of the Creighton Side Saddle included many different types of materials, a variety of repair methods, and over 100 hours to complete!  Some of the most challenging treatments included the saddle blanket and the seat.  If you haven't read the first two blog posts about the side saddle, including the saddle's history and the rest of the treatment, you can read them here and

Creighton University Side Saddle

Over the next three months, our blog posts will detail the history, condition, and treatment of a saddle that belongs to Creighton University.  It is believed to have been the saddle of Mary Lucretia Creighton and was in dire need of help when it arrived at the Ford Center.  While it looked like a hopeless case, it ended up being one of the most impressive transformations we’ve seen.

A Story Shared

Even in larger cities like Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska always feels like a small town where everyone knows everyone else.  And the mission statement of the Nebraska State Historical Society is:“The Nebraska State Historical Society collects, preserves, and opens to all, the histories we share.”  Occasionally, the "histories we share" can be quite serendipitous!  I'm Megan Griffiths, a conservation technician at the Ford Center.  I had the distinct pleasure of witnessing one such story.

A Seat of Honor

The oak chair that had been sitting so long in our vault had been used in the House Chamber of the second Nebraska State Capitol.  The first State Capitol was built in Lincoln between 1867 and 1868.  Due to poor construction and inferior materials, the building began to crumble.  By 1881 the first wing of a second State Capitol was completed and the entire building finished in 1888.

Care, Preserve, Treat

In terms of preservation, the Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, Nebraska, is one of the state’s best-kept secrets—and we’re trying to change that! We are the only regional conservation lab between Minneapolis and Denver, and we want more Nebraskans (and Iowans and Missourians and Kansans and South Dakotans!) to know what we have to offer. 

What is the Ford Conservation Center?

Yearly memberships start at $32

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