Joslyn Art Museum
The extraordinary Art Deco building was hailed not only as an important addition to the city of Omaha, but to modern American architecture as well. In 1938 it was listed among the 100 finest buildings in the United States.
Backstory and Context
When associates suggested he move his business headquarters East, George answered that his money had been “made in Omaha and it would be spent in Omaha.” The Joslyns loved their adopted city and actively supported community projects, toward which it is estimated they gave more than $7 million. They gave generously to the University of Omaha, and among their many charities were the Humane Society, the Old People’s Home, and the Child Saving Institute. They often opened their home, Lynhurst (dubbed “Joslyn Castle” by Omahans because of its grand, baronial style), to parties of underprivileged and orphaned children. Their only child died in infancy, so they raised a foster daughter, Violet, as their own.
After her husband’s death, Mrs. Joslyn devoted herself to creating a memorial that would perpetuate their shared interests in music and art, as well as benefit the greatest number of people possible. She decided to build a concert hall surrounded with art galleries. When it opened on November 29, 1931, the new museum received several private collections as gifts, as well as collections from the Art Institute of Omaha and the Friends of Art.