Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA)

Kearney Travel Blog

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I forget why we stopped in Kearney, Nebraska, but like every place I visit a search for art and veggie food options immediately begins and then we start the local adventure...

MONA is located in what was formerly a post office within the historic downtown of Kearney. The museum started out as a dream to showcase and celebrate the artistic heritage of Nebraska. I know most people outside of Nebraska, and maybe even a few within the state, would take a moment to question whether Nebraska actually had an artistic heritage. I can assure you that it does and the MONA has done a fantastic job presenting it!

My favorite pieces in the museum was a temporary exhibit of lithographs based on painted portraits of notable Native Americans between 1821 and 1837.

The portraits served as a early documentation to a way of life that Thomas McKenney, the government’s Superintendent for Indian Affairs, feared was disappearing - an unfortunate story that is all too common across the world. The original paintings were lost in a fire that consumed a part of the Smithsonian, thankfully someone made backup copies with a litho stone! 

The portraits were beautifully executed and broke away from the stereotypical image created by Hollywood Westerns.

The rest of the museum collection was equally impressive. A fabulous mix of prints, paintings and sculpture. Outside in the back is a lovely little sculptural garden.

The basement level was dedicated to art education and children. To be perfectly honest, adults will enjoy this space as much as their children. Fun posters and ways to get kids interacting with art!

The MONA was definitely a lovely find to discover in the middle of Nebraska!! :)

You can check their webpage for current exhibit information:

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photo by: SalPal