Stephen Cornelius Roberts

1952, Omaha, Nebraska –

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Stephen Cornelius Roberts, a fifth generation Nebraskan, was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1952. He earned his B.F.A. degree in Painting from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1976. He also studied art history, which deeply influenced his art.

In 1990, the Allan Stone Gallery of New York City took Roberts into the Gallery, where he has had a one-person show and been included in many group shows both at the New York Gallery and at art fairs in New York, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, and Southampton. He has also been in numerous other exhibitions throughout the country.

Roberts won a national competition to paint eight murals for the Nebraska State Capitol’s 14th Floor Memorial Chamber in 1991. He worked on the project in his home studio until installation and dedication on Veterans’ Day 1996, and then continued to work on location until May 1997. Four murals honor civilian service and four murals honor military service. Each mural measures 6’ 9” high by 12’ wide. (

Nebraska Public Television completed a one-hour documentary film titled “The Capitol Murals.” Produced and directed by Michael Farrell, the program follows the Nebraska Capitol Commission through the competition process to the selection of Roberts as the artist for the project. It then follows the artist from preliminary design concepts through the installation of the murals on the 14th Floor of the Nebraska State Capitol. (

Roberts has completed several public commissions in Nebraska including the signature works of art in the lobbies of the Norfolk Veteran’s Home, Donald F. Othmer Chemical Engineering Building on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, Del and LouAnn Weber Fine Arts Building and William H. and Dorothy Thompson Alumni Center both on the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus, Michael F. Sorrell Center for Health Science Education and the Harold M. and Beverly Maurer Center for Public Health both on the University of Nebraska Medical Center (Omaha) campus, and many others.

His work has been included in many museum exhibitions including The Perception of Appearance, A Decade of Contemporary American Figure Drawing at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Washington; The Body Revealed, Two Hundred Years of the American Nude at the New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, Connecticut; and Face to Face, RSVP, and The Figure in Five Media at the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney, Nebraska.

Roberts works full time as an artist in his home studio in Omaha, Nebraska. He has always worked in a realistic, naturalistic style, from life or photographic references. He draws his images free hand, never using projection or grids to aid in creating his art. Time consuming as it is, Roberts wants the representation to be his, not the camera’s eye, in creating his paintings.

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Stephen Cornelius Roberts, Painting of D. W., oil over alkyd over acrylic on linen, 1999