Exhibition Celebrates Painting Faculty at Nebraska

A new exhibition this fall, “Past and Present: A Celebration of Painting at UNL,” will celebrate the painting faculty at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

The exhibition, which will be on display from Aug. 29-Sept. 24 in the Eisentrager-Howard Gallery, will mark the first time the gallery’s benefactors, Professors Emeriti Dan Howard and James Eisentrager, will have their work on display together in the gallery that bears their names.

“We used to both have work in the biannual faculty shows at the Sheldon Museum in the 1970s and 1980s,” Howard said. “But this is the first time we will exhibit together any sizable amount of work since we were graduate students together at the University of Iowa.”

Howard and Eisentrager will each have multiple work featured in one room of the gallery. The third room of the gallery will include one representative work from all of the previous faculty who have specifically taught painting at the university, dating back to a piece by Sarah Wool Moore, who taught from 1884-1892.

Current painting faculty members Aaron Holz and Matthew Sontheimer are curating the exhibition, which will feature the work of 16 faculty.

Holz is excited for people to see the work of previous and current painting faculty at the university.

“We look at the alumni who graduate from the program, and we showcase them—from Aaron Douglas to Bruce Conner to T.L. Solien,” Holz said. “We have had amazing students who have come out of the program. But we haven’t taken the time to really look at the faculty who have taught them, and this is the perfect opportunity to do so, during the university’s 150th anniversary.”

Sontheimer said it’s a fitting tribute to Howard and Eisentrager and all of the painting faculty.

“Because Dan and Jim have done so much, in terms of the gallery, there will be multiple works by each of them in each gallery—almost like two solo shows,” he said. “And then in the gallery we are curating, we’ll select one work from each artist. Putting all this work together solidifies that history for contemporary eyes.”

Howard is looking forward to the exhibition.

“I think it’s a great idea. I’m very pleased about it,” he said. “I think to succeed in academia and to be a good teacher, it was important for me to be informed. I had to be a reasonably good artist and keep working for competitions.”

Sontheimer said “The exhibition is a celebration of the department, and it shows a trajectory of everyone who has been involved with painting and all of the influence they have had on the various artists who have gone out in the world.”

Continue Reading