The Museum of Nebraska Art announces new Board Members.

Part of what makes the Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA) unique is the legislative mandate that established its collection as the official art collection for the State of Nebraska. A vital part of that state-wide presence is MONA’s Board of Directors, a dedicated and committed group that guide the institution.

Recently the MONA Board welcomed three new members: Jon Bokenkamp, Kearney; Kate McCown, Lincoln; and Megan McGowan, Omaha, who joined the forty-six member board whose members are from across the state.

In other business, the MONA Board honored six retiring members for their years of service: Deanna Bosselman, Djel Brown, Omaha; Doniphan; Jack Campbell, Lincoln; Jerry Fox, Kearney;  Sharon Marvin-Igel, Omaha; and Becky Van de Bogart, Cambridge/Lincoln.

History Nebraska’s Heritage Hero Award Presented to MONA Volunteer Jeanne Ross.

Jeanne Ross has been a volunteer MONA Docent and Guild member since 2000, involved in almost every volunteer activity and fundraising event MONA has.

Jeanne was a co-chair of our signature event Spirit: A Celebration of Art in the Heartland in 2002. She was Chairman of “Kaleidoscope” and volunteered in the Anne Thorne Weaver Museum Shop for approximately 10 years. Her involvement in further fundraising campaigns include the MONA Guild’s October “Cabaret” event, and the redesign and dedication of the Carl Spelts Lobby. She also contributed to the purchase of the large wood gallery benches used by our visitors.

Consistently for the last 20 years Jeanne has been a loyal, reliable MONA docent, helping to organize docent trips, attending monthly meetings, participating in ongoing training, and facilitating hundreds of tours. She is the kind of docent that museums dream of having, the archetypal perfect volunteer, selfless, kind, and passionate about the role that MONA should have within the community. Her broad gracious smile, energy, thoughtfulness, and calm demeanor are rocksteady and we are truly in her debt. This our small way of saying thank-you.

The Museum of Nebraska Art recognized at this year’s Aksarben Ball Omaha, Nebraska October 19, 2019.

The theme for this year’s Askarben Ball was “Masterpieces of the Heartland” chosen by the Aksarben Women’s Ball Committee Chairman, Beth Wilson. Along with the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, the Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA) was honored. In a statement from Wilson, “her first thoughts were that the Museum of Nebraska Art be represented as it is a natural fit with the theme of the Ball this year. We were discussing highlighting the “Masterpieces” of Nebraska, ie the people, the landscape, the places (institutions) that all come together to make Nebraska the Masterpiece that it is. What I loved about the MONA is all of the Nebraska art/artists one can see on a visit, not to mention the fact that the building itself is on the National Register of historic buildings. These factors combined with the fact that it is located in the middle of the state, all made it something that we wanted to highlight the night of the Ball.” The Women’s Ball Committee Production Chair, Sam Hohman also stated,  “I’m a member of MONA and love how they focus on Nebraska artists and Nebraska as subject matter. It definitely was a natural tie in to the theme.”

After 17 years directing the Museum of Nebraska Art, Audrey Kauders retired on June 30, 2019.
“Audrey’s legacy and achievement deserve celebration,” said MONA Board past president Bob Culver. “She has taken a ‘collection’ to a ‘museum’ that is widely recognized as first-class. Further, she’s embraced Kearney as her home and made significant contributions to her community.”

Kauders joined MONA in 2002 after 21 years at Joslyn Art Museum as deputy director and a stint as Joslyn’s interim director. During her time as MONA director, nearly 1,500 works of art were added to the collection and more than 650 exhibitions were displayed at the museum in downtown Kearney and other venues across the Midwest. MONA also received seven named endowment funds during her leadership.

“It has been an absolute privilege to serve as MONA’s director for over 17 years,” Kauders said. “I’m very passionate about museums and how important they are to everyday life for many people. I have been so fortunate to work with dedicated and creative staff, a plethora of committed and involved Board members and supportive and encouraging faculty and staff at UNK. Those of us in the nonprofit sector are wholly dependent on support from our communities, and I am deeply grateful for the place MONA holds in the hearts of so many in central Nebraska, across the state and beyond.”