The Nebraska State Capitol, an architectural and artistic masterpiece, contains artwork telling Nebraska’s story. The many different pieces of art were created by many different artists over many different decades. The artwork in the Capitol includes sculpture, mosaic and oil paint on canvas. Among the images of Nebraska are native flora and fauna, the First Peoples and pioneers.
Since its construction, 1922 – 1932, the Capitol has been a subject for artists. Gladys M. Lux, art teacher at Nebraska Wesleyan University used the Capitol as a subject for a 1930 woodblock print early in her career. She founded the University Place Art Center in 1985; it was renamed the Lux Center for the Arts in her honor and is a place for community creativity.
Chosen by competition and installed in the Capitol’s Great Hall in 1967, the Capitol is featured in artwork created by Reinhold Marxhaussen. In Marxhaussen’s mural, The Spirit of Nebraska, the Capitol’s tower pushes up through the layers of Nebraska’s soil to symbolize Nebraskans’ work to build a better world through government. In Marxhaussen’s mural, The Building of the Capitol, the floorplan and different architectural components are incorporated into the design.
Even now the Capitol is the focus of artistic vision. The Noyes Art Gallery has organized an exhibition, ‘Capitol Perspectives’, featuring local artists and their interpretations of the Nebraska State Capitol as subject matter and inspiration. The exhibition will be shown in the Nebraska State Office Building, 301 Centennial Mall South, July 1st – August 31st. The State Office Building is open Monday – Friday from 8:OO am – 5:00 pm. The public is invited to come see the Capitol through the eyes of Nebraska’s talented artists.