Date of this Version
Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, University of Nebraska- Lincoln, May 16, 1963.
The Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, dedicated on May 16, 1963, is more than another beautiful building given to a university by beneficent donors. It is a contribution to a total cultural development which is taking place in America and one especially discernible in the midland of our nation.
One of the outstanding architectural masterpieces of the Midwest, the Sheldon Gallery is a part of the University of Nebraska's newer emphasis on cultural opportunities for its students and staff and an influence on the cultural appreciation of our region. It gives strong evidence that artistic contributions come from an irrepressible spirit in the hearts and minds of people who have the courage to marvel at the wonder oflife and the conscience to interest themselves in its messages, emotions, and in its mission.
The Gallery, built on a plot reserved in 1869 by a prairie legislature for use in teaching and cultural pursuits, validates an American concept that people will respond to the stimulation of an intellectual center. Neither A. Bromley Sheldon, an astute businessman, nor his sister, Miss Frances Sheldon, was ever a student at the University of Nebraska. Yet, somehow, the influence of the University reached them, and they responded. Both of the donors are now deceased but their gift will endure to add to the artistic stimulation of other people.
In his thoughtful message, delivered on the occasion of the Sheldon Gallery dedication, Dr. Frank Stanton gives emphasis to the function of an art museum, a function well understood by Philip Johnson, noted American architect and designer of the building. The function is one which promotes response amid the excitement and confusion of technical and scientific advancements.