MONA Programs

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Collection Connection

David Wells: The Trans-Mississippi Exposition of 1898 in Omaha
Wednesday, May 22 • 2:00 p.m.
Independent historian David Wells celebrates The Trans-Mississippi Exposition of 1898 with a presentation of rare photographic images. Hailed as a showcase of technology west of the Mississippi River, the Exposition showed that life beyond the mighty river was civilized and forward-thinking. Wells describes the construction of the exposition, the use of the lagoon and the sophisticated buildings at their zenith, and their dismantling.

The Indian Congress, the largest gathering of Native American tribes since the end of the Indian Wars 10 years previously, was part of the Exposition. Omaha-based photographer Frank A. Rinehart focused on the Exposition architecture. His assistant, Adolph F. Muhr, was responsible for the portrait photography of the 500 Native American participants, one of which is on view in the MONA There’s an App for That 2.0 exhibition.

Humanities Nebraska (HN) provides major funding for this program. HN receives support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Nebraska State Legislature, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, and private donations.

Dr. William Stoutamire: Decorative Arts: The Philip and Mildred Strain Collection
Wednesday, June 26 • 2:00 p.m.
Frank Museum Director Dr. William F. Stoutamire shares the story behind the incredible decorative arts collection of Kearney’s Philip and Mildred Strain, now on display at the G.W. Frank Museum of History and Culture. For much of their lives, the Strains quietly collected valuable pieces of European and American decorative art by Tiffany, Steuben, Meissen, Sèvres, Royal Vienna, and more. Learn what drove the Strains to secretly amass the most significant decorative arts collection in the Great Plains region, as well as what stories this art can tell – tales of corruption, bribery, and theft across the globe. Dr. Stoutamire holds a Ph.D. in History from Arizona State University and has served as Frank Museum Director since 2014.

Rick Brown: Verbatim: All I Did Was Ask
Wednesday, July 24 • 2:00 p.m.
Kearney Hub arts and entertainment reporter Rick Brown shares snippets of his conversations recorded with Nebraska artists during his 13 years of writing about the art scene in central Nebraska. Brown studied media production at the University of Arizona. His background in music and theater includes work with Arizona Theater Company, writing award-winning plays as well as a 17-year stint as a producer and host of a 30-minute children’s show on non-commercial radio stations. He writes a weekly art column for the Kearney Hub and covers the arts in mid Nebraska. In his spare time, Rick plays the accordion, tells stories, makes fine art mobiles, and collects twigs.

Roxanne Aistrope: Picture Framing
Wednesday, August 28 • 2:00 p.m.
From the earliest of times when the making of art began, two-dimensional artworks are made complete with a carefully selected picture frame. Choosing the ideal frame for any artwork is a complex process. There are woods in many shades, metals with countless finishes, and golden gilts in untold tones in traditional or contemporary styles. And that’s just the beginning!

Roxanne Aistrope, owner of On Site Studio Framing in Kearney, talks about the history and components of custom-made picture framing. She has been in the framing industry since 1993. Aistrope earned her bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis in interior design from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Just Can’t Make it to a Collection Connection?
Watch recordings of past MONA Programs at iTunes.


MONA’s Not Just A Book Club

Avid readers whose interests lie in authors from Nebraska or reading about Nebraska or art are welcome, and may join at any time.

1st Tuesdays: May 7 – September 3, 2019
Time: 10:30-11:30 a.m.
MONA: Gary E. Zaruba Library & Research Center

May 7:
Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered by Dianne Hales
June 4: Those of the Gray Wind: The Sandhill Cranes by Paul A. Johnsgard
July 2:
The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre: A Novel by Dominic Smith
August 6: Faces Places – MONA’s Program Room, 10:00 a.m.-12 noon
Film director Agnès Varda and photographer/muralist JR journey through rural France and form an unlikely friendship. This documentary was a nominee for an Academy Award in 2018. French with English subtitles. Space is limited to 20 people. RSVP by calling MONA at (308) 865-8559.
September 3: The Village Naturalist by biologist Mark M. Peyton, who discusses his book in person.


MONA Showcase

MONA Showcase is a six-program evening series featuring talented visual, performing, and literary artists held once a month in October, November, December, February, and March. Each program is 7:00-8:00 p.m., followed by conversation, art viewing, and light refreshments. Free and open to the public.