On Exhibit Now

Hometown: A Nostalgic Chain of Memories

February 24 – April 28


Hometown: A Nostalgic Chain of Memories

February 24 – April 28

This exhibit showcases numerous original artworks by famed Grand Island watercolor artist, illustrator, printmaker, and author Grant Reynard. In the second-floor South gallery, the hometown memories of twenty-two current Nebraska artists are also on exhibit. These artists offer their own unique interpretations of what the term “hometown” means to them. In many cases these artists found inspiration in the same mediums explored by this historic Nebraska artist.

The works on display by Grant Reynard are part of Stuhr Museum’s permanent collection and were donated shortly after his death in 1968. Reynard’s work appeared in publications like The Saturday Evening Post and Scribner’s Magazine and can still be seen today in the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Reynard also published two books of poetry, which are also displayed in this exhibit.

Prior to finding success, Reynard was a young, struggling Nebraska artist unsure of the direction he wished to take in his career. It was at this moment that he met another famous Nebraskan, Willa Cather, at an artist retreat in New Jersey. The advice that Cather gifted Reynard was not realized by him until a year later at a crossroads for the young painter. As Reynard recalled, Cather confided in him that “it wasn’t until I suddenly thought of my youth in a great wave of nostalgia for the early Nebraska days that my work took on a new dimension…My Antonia came that way, born of feeling and memory, flooding the page.”

After reflecting on this advice, Reynard recalled that “suddenly my search for a motive was over. The far sound of a dog barking down in my village of Peterborough brought back my hometown in a nostalgic chain of memories – Grand Island, Nebraska, and our house on Third Street, practicing piano on a spring afternoon, and the sound of kids down the block playing one-o-cat and kick-the-can. The wave of subjects overwhelmed me.”

These rich memories of his hometown are what drove a substantial part of Grant Reynard’s career, and these memories are displayed throughout the gallery. It is the hope of this exhibit that in displaying both the historic artwork of Reynard and the current artwork of some of today’s great Nebraska artists, a diverse collection of life experiences will be seen and learned from and that many of the timeless qualities of the subject of “Hometown” will be visible.

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Upcoming Exhibits

On the Homefront:

World War II in Nebraska

May 18 – August 25

Braided Water

Susan Knight

September 14 – November 17

Home & Down the Road a Bit

Wendy Hall

December 7 – February 23