MONA’s Crane Images

January 24 – June 7, 2009 —

When the Museum of Nebraska Art”s cranes are on display, spring is right around the corner…though scientists might argue about the sensibility of cranes nesting in an art gallery – and in January, no less.

Featured prominently this season is one of MONA’s most unusual harbingers of spring – Carousel Crane by artist Gary Zaruba. It’s easy for a child to believe that he or she can actually ride this merry-go-round sized bird, but alas…no rides, please! This crane truly is a significant work of art. Rendered for the 2003 Cranes on Parade community art project, this fiberglass crane models sophisticated tone-on-tone polka dots, a dramatic headdress worthy of a Las Vegas showgirl, and a clear-coated fabric saddle blanket. And what merry-go-round animal could be complete without a pole and lights? Museum regulars might recall that this sculpture generally nests in the upstairs corridor. Museum staff members were alarmed to find the crane missing in early January, but thankfully, it was discovered that Carousel Crane had simply migrated to the Cope Gallery one evening. No doubt she was tired of being left out of seasonal crane games.

Keeping company with the “Main Crane” (a special nickname reserved for Carousel Crane. because of her size and stature) are MONA’s octavo Audubon crane prints and various photographic portraits of these famous cranes. Robert Weaver’s White Crane Kata is also in residence, featuring three cranes and a perpetually demonstrating martial arts master.

Stop by to see why all the cool cranes flock to MONA. It’s the place to be before, during, and after the crane season.