Morrill Hall opens renovated 'First Peoples' exhibit Sept. 30

Released on 09/14/2011, at 12:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHERE: Morrill Hall, University of Nebraska State Museum

Lincoln, Neb., September 14th, 2011 —
Artwork illustrating 'First Peoples' exhibition
Artwork illustrating 'First Peoples' exhibition

On Sept. 30, the University of Nebraska State Museum in Morrill Hall will open its renovated Native American gallery with the new exhibit, "First Peoples of the Plains: Traditions Shaped by Land & Sky." This modern exhibit explores the enduring traditions of Native American cultures of the Great Plains. Morrill Hall is located south of 14th and Vine streets on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln City Campus.            

The First Peoples of the Great Plains lived on and moved across the "land beneath the sky." They transformed the natural resources of this diverse region into tools, food, clothing and shelter. In turn, their solutions to the challenges of life on these vast grasslands shaped many of the cultural traditions that continue today, including religion, language, marriage and artistic expression.

The exhibit and gallery renovation were funded through generous support from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Class of 1987 Fund, Dr. Anne M. Hubbard, and the Claire M. Hubbard Foundation.

The exhibit was designed by Alan Osborn, State Museum anthropology curator and assistant professor at University of Nebraska at Omaha. It was prepared by State Museum artist Angie Fox and exhibit specialists Joel Nielsen and Ron Pike, with collections management assistance from Susan Curtis. Judi gaiashkibos, executive director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, served as a consultant for the exhibit.

In conjunction with the new exhibit, striking portraits of Native American children in traditional regalia by award-winning photographer Don Doll, S.J., will be on display through January. The photography exhibit is courtesy of the Betty Strong Encounter Center in Sioux City, Iowa.           

On Oct. 1, a beadwork and natural dyeing program for families will be presented in support of the exhibit from 10 a.m.-noon and 12:30-4 p.m. at Morrill Hall. Visitors can make dream catchers and dye porcupine quills using native dyes made from plants. Tapestry artist Grete Bodogaard will demonstrate the natural dye process used in traditional quillwork, as well as the embroidery techniques Native Americans of the Great Plains use on different media to create colorful patterns. Native American beadwork artists Renee Geller and Irene White Eyes will provide beadwork demonstrations. Regular museum admission charged.  Established in 1871, the University of Nebraska State Museum is celebrating its 140th anniversary with special promotions and educational events throughout the year. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Friday-Saturday; 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursdays; and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Sundays. Regular museum admission is $5 for adults (19 and over), $3 for children (5-18 years, 4 and under are free), and $10 for families (up to two adults and children). UNL staff, faculty and students are admitted free with valid NU ID. Parking is free in front of the museum. For further information, telephone the museum at (402) 472-2642 or visit

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