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The Next Chapter of Our Museum's Life is Coming

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     The Robert Henri Museum and Art Gallery, in Cozad, Nebraska, is pleased to announce that it is embarking on a momentous new chapter in the museum’s long and storied history. The project will take the institution to an even higher level and make it a national center for preserving and promoting the art and legacy of Robert Henri. The museum has been making steady progress for almost forty years as it first preserved Henri’s boyhood home in the 1980s, and then constructed a nine-hundred square foot gallery to house its growing collection of his art in 2014.

     The former American Legion building (to the north of the current gallery), was demolished in early November 2023. Unfortunately, it was beyond rehabilitation. Construction then began, and the current timeline is to open the new gallery in the fall of 2024, subject to the challenges of weather conditions and any other unforeseen delays of course. Our current gallery will close on September 1, 2024 so that the exhibits can be installed in the new gallery.

     The new gallery will be about five thousand square feet in size. It will allow the museum to geometrically expand our collection from our current seventeen paintings to more than thirty paintings. This new building will include state of the art climate control, fire protection, and security systems along with educational and exhibition space. It will include an outdoor patio area, gift shop, office and a serving kitchen.

You can donate to our new gallery project by clicking on the Donate Now Button. Helps us move into our next new exciting chapter as our museum has been saving the legacy of Robert Henri for more than 35 years because of people like you. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

     The $3.5 million expansion will be paid for by grants, contributions and a very generous donation and matching commitment from patrons Larry and Tammy Paulsen of $2 million. Larry and Tammy have made the display of much of the artwork and exhibitions in our gallery possible through donations and loans. Larry’s mother, Shirley Paulsen, was one of the founders of our museum in the early 1980s. 
     Our current gallery will be converted into a new library and archives building as it is climate controlled and has a sophisticated security system. Once the interior of the new building is completed, we will begin to move our current collection of paintings and sketches to their new home. At the present time we are beginning to conduct research and design the new exhibits.
     Donations can made by going to the museum’s website or mailing them to the museum directly and are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. We will provide regular updates as to our progress on our Facebook and web pages.
     The Robert Henri Museum and Art Gallery is a national treasure that is the result of the work of many volunteers, board members and professional staff who have toiled for more than thirty years. The effort to preserve Robert Henri’s legacy in Cozad started with a small group of people who saw the opportunity to bring recognition to the town that was once home to the acclaimed artist and native son, Robert Henri (Robert Henry Cozad). This group, led by Shirley Paulsen, bought and restored the former Hendee Hotel, Henri’s boyhood home. 
     With local support and generous donations from Cozad and Henri family members, and donors from across the United States, the Robert Henri Museum and Art Gallery’s collection continues to grow. The first Henri painting donated to the museum in 1988 was Portrait of Queen Mariana. 
     Since then, numerous donations and loans of Henri works have been made. In 2014, a climate-controlled art gallery was built to display the collection. Today the Art Gallery houses the largest display of Robert Henri works, or those attributed to him, in the United States. The museum and art gallery are located at 218 East 8th Street in Cozad. 

Drawings courtesy of Wilkins Architecture Design Planning, Kearney, Nebraska

Photographs courtesy of Chuck Birgen

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