Tuesday, August 31, 2021

A Huge and Impressive Home Store

Having spent most of my working life in retailing, I am hard to impress when I visit any retail venues that are new to me.  I generally don’t like shopping or wandering through stores.  However, while in Nebraska visiting family, Laurie and I felt that it was about time for us to finally visit one of the stores owned by the company where our daughter-in-law, Amy, is a key member of management. 

Note: All the information about Nebraska Furniture Mart that is contained in this post is the result of my own on-line research and/or personal observation. 

This is the main entrance to the Nebraska Furniture Mart (NFM) complex in Omaha Nebraska.  Despite only having 4 locations, Nebraska Furniture Mart is the largest home furnishings store in North America. 

The founding of NFM is truly a story of an immigrant’s impact and drive for success in America.  The Nebraska Furniture Mart was founded in 1937 by Rose Blumkin aka. “Mrs. B”.  Her motto was “Sell cheap and tell the truth.”

The complex map or floor plan gives you an idea about the size of the Omaha operation.  Situated on 78 acres, the store itself has over 450,000 square feet of retail space.  Add in the warehouse and office areas and the total comes to something over 1,100,000 square feet.

Born in 1893 as Rosa Gorelick, Mrs. B married Izya (Isadore) Blumkin.  She and Isadore immigrated to the USA in 1917 when Rose was 24.  In 1919 the Blumkin’s moved to Omaha where they started a used clothing store.  In 1937 when Mrs. B was in her 40s she opened NFM in the basement of her husband’s store…with a $500 investment.  In the beginning she sold used furniture.  Early in NFM’s existence, the Blumkins had to sell their own home furnishings to pay off a debt.

Upon entering the store, we were overwhelmed by the size of the sales floor!  It seemed to stretch on forever… In the mid-90s NFM expanded adding a massive electronics and appliance store selling computers, software, music, movies and other personal electronic items, plus of course TVs, sound systems and a plethora of small and large appliances across all price points.  The TV section went on forever…and it blew my mind! 

The home product diversity at NFM goes on and on.  There were lawn mowers of all types and price points, grilling and tailgating items, smartphones, video games, exercise equipment, cameras/camcorders, fountains, fire pits, toys, GPS/navigation, office electronics, drones/accessories, home automation and security…the list seems endless. 

When Mrs. B was 89, she sold a majority interest in Nebraska Furniture Market to Berkshire Hathaway.  It was basically a handshake deal with billionaire and fellow Omaha resident, Warren Buffett.  Following the sale, Buffett was quoted as saying, “Put her up against the top graduates of the top business schools or chief executives of the Fortune 500 and, assuming an even start with the same resources, she’s run rings around them.” 

The Omaha NFM location houses over 85,000 furniture items, 185,000 appliance and electronic items and over a million square yards of carpet.  Like the first floor of the main Omaha store, the furniture level stretches on for what seems like forever…

In the home furnishing section of the store, it was no surprise that variety is the name of the game.  Of course there are couches…but there also are bar and rec room furnishings, office furniture, flooring/area rugs, vanities, fireplaces/accessories, gun safes, heating and cooling equipment…and more!

By this point in our tour, we were more than happy to sit down in recliners.  That was where Laurie took this photo of our guide…and our son, David II.  He was wearing us out, and he wasn’t done with the tour either!  If I’d been in one of the massage chairs that NFM offers, the tour would have ended right there…

One last photo of some of the items included on the ‘furniture’ floor.  Note the tables and chairs.  There also is an expansive selection of lighting/ceiling fans plus china cabinets, pantries, baker’s racks, kitchen islands/carts, sideboards, buffets and dining sets and tables.

So…we left the main NFM store in Omaha…and David III led us to this ‘other’ store…Mrs. B’s Clearance and Factory Outlet.  It turns out that in 1989, Mrs. B’s family had forced her to retire.  She was 95!  She wasn’t happy with retirement…and realizing that Warren Buffett hadn’t made her sign a non-compete agreement, only 3 months after retiring Mrs. B opened this store across the street from NFM!  Within 3 years, her new store was profitable and was already the third largest carpet outlet in Omaha.  A year later, Buffett bought the new store and merged it with the Mart.  Mrs. B worked in the business until she was 103… She lived to be almost 105 years old.  What a life!

Here is a view of the inside of Mrs. B’s Clearance and Outlet Store.  Looking for a deal?  This is the place to find them…  There is more than 100,000 feet of retail space featuring furniture, over 100 mattresses, do-it-yourself flooring including over 300 rolls of carpet in stock, special purchases, seasonal items such as patio furniture…and more. 

One thing that I really appreciated were the sales people and other store personnel we met.  They were all very helpful, not pushy and they expressed the fact that they really enjoyed working at NFM.  They had no idea who we were or that our daughter-in-law was an executive with the company…

In addition to the Omaha location, Nebraska Furniture Mart has stores in Iowa, Kansas City Kansas and a suburb of Dallas.  If I thought that this complex was big, consider the fact that the Kansas City location has over 1,100,000 feet of retail and warehouse space on 88 acres while the newer Dallas area location features 560,000 square feet of retail space and 1,300,000 square feet of warehouse/distribution space. 

Total annual sales volume for Nebraska Furniture Mart was not something that I could easily determine.  One on-line site quoted over $821,000,000 a year while Dunn and Bradstreet gave a number of over $1 billion.  In either case, the company’s sales volume exceeds what my former employer’s, (Montgomery Ward), hundreds of store realized back in 2000 in the year before they/we went out of business.  Pretty impressive… Not bad Mrs. B!  Her grandsons currently serve as Chairman and Vice Chairman of NFM.

To learn more about Nebraska Furniture Mart, you can go to the Company’s website at Shop Furniture, Appliances, Electronics, Flooring and Home Décor | Nebraska Furniture Mart (nfm.com).  Alternately, information about the home store in Omaha is found at Omaha Store | Nebraska Furniture Mart (nfm.com).

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Friday, August 27, 2021

Food…and Lunch In Lincoln Nebraska

…continuing with our family visits/road trip that we took in July.  Time to talk about food as part of our experience!

Our complements to the chefs…David and Amy had prepared one of my favorite meals on the Fourth of July pre-fireworks.  ‘Make your own tacos’ is right up my alley, especially with all the choices they offered.  There was ground beef…the standard taco filling…as well as seasoned chicken strips, pork and steak!  A variety of cheeses were available as well as at least 3 different taco style sauces plus fresh guacamole, salsa and my favorite, chimichurri sauce for the beef.  I was very happy with my dinner even if I did eat too much!

On to lunch with the family in Lincoln Nebraska…

After wandering around the old depots and shopping in a very nice antique store in the historic Haymarket area of Lincoln, it was time for lunch.  Our choice was Lazlo’s Brewery and Grill.  Established in 1991, Lazlo’s was Nebraska’s first brewpub…in fact it was the only brewery in the state at that time. 

The Haymarket area of Lincoln has a complex history as it’s been a bit of a moving target.  The “Haymarket” terminology can be traced to the first plat of Lincoln that was laid out in 1867.  A market square was established for the sale of produce and livestock.  It also served as a place for westward bound immigrants to camp out.  When the Federal government built a post office and courthouse in 1874, the original market square was moved 2 blocks north and it was officially designated “Haymarket Square”.  Scales were installed for weighing hay, cattle and produce.  It continued to evolve over the years, becoming the location of the first city hall.  Today the site is occupied by the local newspaper’s printing plant and distribution center.

So…today the “Haymarket” names survives as the designation for the historic warehouse district immediately west of the old Haymarket Square.  An 8-block area was named as the Haymarket Landmark District and in 1985 it was selected as a demonstration project by the National Main Street Project.  In 2014, the Haymarket Square area was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

I do get tired of the currently popular ‘industrial’ style used by so many restaurants and brewpubs.  I suspect that it is usually less expensive to build.  In any case, with its wood, brick and cushioned booths, Lazlo’s seems to be a sort of crossover between industrial and a softer look.

I had to take one more photo of our son David II and his better half Amy… It appears that they still like each other after all these years!

Laurie and I decided to order the Cold Smoked Salmon Plate. ($13.99) Six ounces of hickory-smoked salmon were served with cucumber slices, herb cream cheese and lahvosh chips.  It was nice and not overly filling either…

I think Amy was the one who ordered the Buffalo Chicken Wrap with Sweet Potato Fries…but I could be wrong. ($12.74) The crispy chicken was dipped in hot sauce and the wrap also included lettuce, Monterey jack and cheddar cheese…with tomato and bleu cheese dressing.    

I’m not sure which Lahvosh pictured above is which… This may be the Voodoo Lahvosh. ($13.99) The lahvosh (a sweet cracker style bread) was topped with blackened chicken, voodoo sauce, sautéed onions, melted Monterey Jack and parmesan cheeses.

I believe that the second Lahvosh is Laslo’s Original Lahvosh…topped with melted Havarti cheese and baked with a choice of 3 ingredients. ($12.99) Options included tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, jalapenos, bacon bits, turkey, ham or chicken.  As you can see, the protein choice was chicken…

The last luncheon entrée on the table was a Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich. ($11.29) Diners have their choice of 2 different versions.  One includes bacon, lettuce, red onion, pepperoncini’s and sriracha-mayo.  However, in this case the chicken came buffalo style with hot sauce, lettuce, tomato and bleu cheese dressing.

Suffice it to say, our family group of 6 was happy with their lunch.  The variety of choices at Lazlo’s was interesting and we all had plenty to eat.  Lazlo’s Brewery and Grill at Market Square in Lincoln Nebraska is located at 210 North 7th Street.  Phone: (402) 434-5636.  This brewpub is open 7 days a week, beginning at 11 AM.  Lazlo’s has another location in Lincoln as well as one in Omaha.  Website: https://lazlosbreweryandgrill.com/.  

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Family on the Fourth and Much More!

…continuing with our early July road trip.  We were in Omaha visiting our son and his family in time to celebrate the 4th of July!

David II and Amy’s home sits on a rise overlooking a big valley in the Elkhorn area of Omaha, with views that go on for miles.  So, the entire family set up chairs on their deck overlooking the vista so that we could all enjoy the fireworks.  Laurie was photographing the action when I took this photo.

Laurie and I both discovered how hard it is to capture a decent photo of fireworks using either a smart phone or a standard issue digital camera.  Sadly, these 2 photos were about as good as we could do…

The valley was blanketed with fireworks activity, some from local governments and organizations but most of the action was due to the efforts and expense expended by local residents.

Got to have family photos, especially after 19 months of absence!  Here are Amy’s parents, Dan and Bonnie, with their grandsons, David III and Emmett Lee.

Then we got this great fun photo of Amy with her 'little' boys…David III and Emmett Lee.

The next day, we hit the road for a bit of exploration.

David II had asked me to put together a list of places we’d like to visit.  I’d listed a number of historic buildings and areas in nearby Lincoln Nebraska, including the Lincoln Station in the Haymarket area of the city.

The Burlington and Missouri River Railroad was the first railroad to come to the new capital of Nebraska.  Burlington collected $50,000 from the county for reaching Lincoln in 1870.  In addition, the State of Nebraska awarded the railroad 2,000 acres of land for each mile of track the railroad built!  Seven other railroads reached Lincoln by 1900, with the city and county paying bonuses that totaled more than $500,000. 

The Burlington Depot, now referred to as the Lincoln Station, was built in 1927.  It was the third Burlington Depot built in the city.  This Neo-classical Revival style building is complemented with attractive long covered passenger platforms on the rail side of the structure.  The covered platforms were built by Omaha-based Peter Kiewit and Sons, now a worldwide construction firm.

The Burlington Depot was renovated and renamed in 1990 by a local family.  It now provides shops, offices and the “Great Hall” in the former depot waiting room.  We visited a very nice antique store located in one end of the old depot.  The Great Hall is now used for weddings, major gatherings and other events.  Lincoln Station continued to provide an office and waiting room for Amtrak until a new depot was completed nearby.

This well maintained steam locomotive is situated in the Bill Harris Iron Horse Park immediately adjacent to Lincoln Station.  Chicago, Burlington and Quincy locomotive 710 was built in the Burlington Shops in the town of Havelock in 1901.  Havelock is now part of the city of Lincoln. 

Locomotive 710 began service by pulling passenger trains.  Later, in the 1920s it was retooled and used as a short-haul freight locomotive.  By the 1950s, the steam era was ending and Burlington refurbished the steam engine and its tender, donating them to the City of Lincoln in 1955. 

I didn’t walk down the street to take a photo of the new Amtrak Station.  Most of these new stations kind of depress me, but in fairness the description of the interior of this station sounds considerably nicer than many.  This depot was completed in 2012, and it is just 3 or 4 blocks from the Lincoln Station.  It is frequently referred to locally as the Haymarket Depot just to distinguish it from the revamped Lincoln Depot.

The Amtrak Depot is served by a once daily train going west from Chicago to the San Francisco Bay area…and another taking the same route east.  The trip usually takes 51.5 hours and at 2,438 miles in length, its Amtrak’s longest daily route. 

Note: Covid-19 and the pandemic didn’t help Amtrak’s struggling levels of ridership.  In 2019, this route handled 410,844 passengers but in 2020, only 247,535 passengers were recorded.

Lincoln is home to another smaller but architecturally impressive railway depot.  Built in 1893, the Renaissance style Rock Island Depot served passenger trains of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad until 1968.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the depot is now occupied by a branch of the Union Bank and Trust.

I downloaded this wintertime photo of the old depot which shows how it was situated along the tracks while it was still operating.  Most of the former Rock Island Line trackage in the Lincoln area has been converted to “rail trails”.

That’s it for now.  Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Friday, August 20, 2021

Finally…The Family Together Again!

Following our trek along the interstate highways and back roads through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Iowa, Laurie and I finally reached our destination in Omaha Nebraska!  We had a nice dinner waiting for us and plenty of time for visiting…and then it was time to get out and about in Omaha.

Our first family adventure was a visit to the Joslyn Art Museum.  As the primary photographer, I am able to avoid most group photos.  In this instance, from left to right are Emmett (youngest grandson, Laurie (my better half), David III (oldest grandson), David II (#1 son) and Amy (DII’s better half) 

The museum was opened in 1931 in memory of George A. Joslyn by his widow, Sarah.  George Joslyn became wealthy by creating a virtual monopoly in the ‘auxiliary’ printing business.  His company, Western Newspaper Union, supplied standardized, preprinted news to more than 12,000 newspapers throughout the USA.  At its peak, WNU had 31 plants in 25 states and Joslyn was the wealthiest man in Nebraska.

The Joslyn Art Museum is the primary fine arts museum in Nebraska.  It is housed in a striking Art Deco building that is constructed with pink marble from the State of Georgia.  The decorative panels around the outside of the building, (note the upper right of the photo), were designed by sculptor John David Brcin. (1899 – 1983) The decorative panels on the exterior of the museum refer to the peoples of the plains…from the original Native Americans to subsequent European explorers and settlers.

The Joslyn Sculpture Garden is a relatively new addition to the museum.  It opened in 2009 and it features works from local and national artists.  The first photo shows a sculpture by Tom Otterness entitled “Large Covered Wagon” (2004).  Otterness is one of America’s most prolific public artists.  His works are on display in parks, plazas, subway stations, libraries, courthouses and museums around the world.

The statue entitled “Sioux Warrior”, on a rearing horse is based on a model by previously mentioned Serbian-born sculptor John David Brcin.  He completed a model of this sculpture in the late 1920s…for the entrance to the museum.  He never took this project to the next step and in 2009, sculptor Matthew Placzek was commissioned to create this eye-catching 15 foot tall, 5,000 lb. bronze sculpture.  The warrior and his horse sit on top of a 6 foot base of concrete that is encased in Lake Superior green granite.

If you’ve visited any art museum, formal botanical garden or other artistically inclined venue in the last few years, you have seen blown glass works by Dale Chihuly (1941 - ) They seem to be everywhere!  

This giant glass creation was completed in 2000 and it’s entitled “Inside et Out”.  Still, this isn’t Chihuly’s largest permanent exhibit.  His biggest artistic glass creation is found at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.  Chihuly is more than an artist…he is also a bit of an entrepreneur.  He has 2 retail stores, one in the Bellagio in Las Vegas and the other at the MGM Grand Casino in Macau.

Charles Marion Russell (1864 – 1926) along with Frederic Remington, are perhaps America’s pre-eminent artists as regards depictions of the old American west.  This work by Russell is titled “A Serious Predicament” (1908).  Russell worked as a cowboy in his youth and he lived in Montana for most of his life.  He took a lot of pride in the accuracy of his ranch scenes and his works are usually full of action and adventure. 

Note: I took many, many more photos of the various exhibits than are posted here.  This is just a representative glance at the total collection at the Joslyn Art Museum.

This next painting is titled “Sunlight and Shadow”.  The artist was William Merritt Chase (1849 – 1916) Does the painting tell a story?  The man fiddles with his teacup and a cigarette while the woman in the hammock peeks over her shoulder and peeks out at the viewer as if involving us in this little drama.  The painting was originally called “The Tiff”.  This painting was completed in Holland where Chase was staying for the summer.

Chase was a model for progressive American artists of his time.  He spent as much time traveling abroad as he did in the USA.  He studied art at the National Academy of Art in New York City as well as at the Munich Royal Academy.  With exhibits in Munich and London, he was already well known by the time he returned to America.

This beautiful Native American Indian jacket made from hide, silk and bone was created by an unknown artist/craftsperson ca. 1850.  Unlike traditional Plains hide clothing, coats and jackets appear to have been adapted from Canadian or US fashions, often from military styles. 

This particular jacket is reputed to have belonged to Logan Fontenelle (1825 – 1855, a notable figure in Omaha Indian history.  His father was a prominent French trader and his mother was the daughter of Big Elk, a well-known Omaha Chief.  Educated in St. Louis, Fontenelle was fluent in English, French and Omaha and he frequently served as an interpreter.  He moved with his people to a new Omaha Indian Reservation in northeastern Nebraska, but his plea for US Army protection against attacks by the Sioux were ignored.  Fontenelle was killed by the Sioux raiding party in 1855.

Although the most famous artist’s names appear in the Joslyn Museum’s European and American collection, the Western American and Native American collections may have the greatest importance as a group.  These extensive collections provide a rare opportunity to study these genres and periods of art and they allow for a critical insight into the history of the American west.

This watercolor is titled “Fort Laramie or Sublette’s Fort next to the Nebraska or Platte River” ca. 1837.  This painting is one of Alfred Jacob Miller’s many depictions of the American West.  Miller lived from 1810 to 1874.  In 1837, William Drummond Stewart (Scottish, 1795 – 1781) asked Miller to join him on an adventure into the Rocky Mountains where he could record the scenes and events witnessed.  Some of Miller’s works later hung in Stewart’s castle in Scotland and the Joslyn Museum is in possession of several works by the artist.

Some beautiful furniture from different periods and genres are on display throughout the museum.  This spectacular Massachusetts Chest on Chest, made with maple and pine, was built ca. 1750.  The craftsman is unknown.

Mary Cassatt (1844 – 1926) is the most recognized female artist who was associated with the impressionist era in art.  In a world of male impressionist artists…mostly French…this American woman was highly regarded by the public and other artists.  No less than Edgar Degas invited Cassatt to join the impressionists in a series of historic exhibitions in Paris in the 1870s and 1880s.

This particular paint is titled “Woman Reading” and it was completed in 1879.  Cassatt was the daughter of an elite Philadelphia family and she was in a position socially where she could influence friends to patronize and purchase this ‘new’ art form.

This oil painting is titled “The Vintage at Chateau Lagrange”.  It was completed in 1864 by French artist Jules Breton (1827 – 1906).  Breton was a French Naturalist painter and his paintings of the rustic life were heavily influenced by the French countryside. 

Unlike many painters of his time, Breton was both popular and a financial success during his lifetime.  His painting “The Communicants” (1884) sold for $45,000 in 1886, the same year that Breton was made a Commander of the French Legion of Honor.  FYI, the same painting sold again in 2016, this time for $1,270,000…which is the rough equivalent to the original purchase price in 2016 dollars.

Antoine-Louis Barye (1795 – 1875) was a Romantic French sculptor who was most famous for his work as a sculptor of animals.  This bronze, “Tiger Attacking an Antelope” was modeled by Barye in 1836.  Although it seems much larger, this beautifully ‘animated’ sculpture only measures 13 x 21 ¾ x 11 inches.

Barye certainly excelled at sculpture but he lacked business acumen.  In 1848 he was forced to declare bankruptcy.  All of his work and his molds were sold to a foundry that produced poor quality sculptures for 9 years, impacting Bayre’s reputation.  Finally, in 1876, a top notch foundry acquired his remaining 125 models…and the quality was superb.  Unfortunately, the artist had died the year before… 

I like action and I like paintings involving the sea and ships.  Hence, “The Smuggler’s Return”, an oil on canvas, caught my eye.  It’s the work of Philip James de Loutherbourg (1740 – 1812).  Loutherbourg was a French-born British painter who became especially well-known for his large naval paintings.  One of my favorites is “The Battle of Camperdown” in 1799.

Loutherbourg was creative…playing with lights and motion to create a form of theater called Eidophusikon, meaning “image of nature”…basically a miniature mechanical theatre.  When he first came to London he was hired at the famous Drury Lane Theatre to create scenery and costumes.  He received much acclaim for his creativity… Loutherbourg was made a member of the Royal Academy in 1781.  An eclectic man, in 1789, he began pursuing an interest in alchemy and the supernatural.  He and his wife also took up faith-healing…

This painting is titled “Portrait of Nicolaes Willemsz Lossy and his wife Marritgen Pieters”.  This oil on panel work was completed in 1633 by Gerard Donck. (Dutch – 1600 to 1650) He painted during what is referred to as the Dutch Golden Age (1588 – 1672)

FYI, the Dutch Golden Age is a period in the history of the Netherlands in which Dutch trade, science, art and the Dutch military were the most acclaimed in the world.  The birth of the Dutch Republic took place in 1588, and that marked the beginning of this amazing period in Dutch history.  In the end, the Franco-Dutch War and the War of the Spanish Succession brought about economic decline.  To learn more about the extent of Dutch dominance during this period, just go to Dutch Golden Age - Wikipedia.

The Joslyn Museum also offers a striking exhibit of religious art.  In this instance, this polychromed wood sculpture depicts Saint Stephen.  It was completed ca. 1480 but the Austrian artist is unknown.  The figure of Saint Stephen is just a little over 42 inches tall.

Laurie and love the many works of Thomas Hart Benton. (1889 – 1975) This painting is titled “The Hailstorm” and it was completed in 1940.  This painting is ‘pure’ Benton…with its rural theme, use of color, exaggerated figures and the rolling landscape.  He is depicting the drama between man and nature.  Note that Benton also included that most stubborn of creatures in people’s minds, the Missouri mule.

Benton was a Missouri native as well as an outspoken populist.  His paintings present what he viewed as ordinary American virtues.  Characters are rough-hewn and colorful and his works are full of social commentary.  Benton produced many murals and inexpensive lithographs because he believed that this effort would provide greater public access to his works.

This display is full of amazing artistic creations by Native Americans.  At the top is that amazing hide and beadwork Rifle Scabbard ca. 1900.  It was made by Edith Claymore of the Standing Rock Sioux. (1858 – 1910)

The two colorful beaded bags at the center are Utah/Ute Ration Ticket Bags…beauty for such a sad thing…from ca. 1890.  Artists unknown. 

The large Medicine Pouch at the bottom is from the Sioux in the 1800s.  Artist unknown.

The museum has an Asian arts section too…but on this occasion I scattered my photos, focusing primarily on the American West.  However, as my bride loves horses and we both love Asian art, I’ve included this outstanding earthenware with polychrome “Tomb Figure of a Horse”, Chinese, Tang Dynasty (618 – 907)

This pair of sculptures are across from each other at the opening to the central courtyard at the Joslyn museum.  The “Indian Hunter and Pronghorn Antelope” were created in 1917 by American artist Paul Manship (1855 – 1966). Manship actually gifted these works to the Museum.  These striking plaster figures are painted in bronze and they fit perfectly with the Art Deco décor that enlivens the core of the museum.

When studying in Greece, Manship found the he loved Archaic Greek art with its directness and simplified naturalism.  This work recasts the heroic mortal Herakles as a Native American wounding his western quarry.  Originally, Mandship had designed these figures as two small sculptures for the mantle in his home.  These large painted plaster figures are the plasters or bases used to cast a bronze pair for an admiring collector.  

The Storz Fountain Court with its fountain as the central focus, has so many features, many of them symbolic, that it is a bit overwhelming.  The thunderbird motif around the courtyard, the wing shaped light fixtures, the grill work on the windows…and of course the marble…amazing!  The floor tiles are Moravian and they include symbols for literature, music, architecture and painting.

The art déco design were even an influence for the corridors leading to the galleries.  As you can see, they are quite spectacular!  They were made with white Botticino marble and Badger pink floors.  A total of 38 different marbles from around the world were used to finish the interior of this beautiful building.  My one regret from our visit is that I didn’t take more photos of the building, especially of the interior.

Did I mention the admission to the Joslyn Art Museum is free?!  However, there is a very nice gift shop available that helps defray operating costs and donations are also accepted.  The museum is open from 10 AM until 4 PM Wednesday through Sunday.  Free parking is available.  Phone: 402-342-3300.  Address: 2200 Dodge Street, Omaha Nebraska.  Website: https://www.joslyn.org/.

This was a very enjoyable and educational family outing.  Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave