An inside look at the Joslyn Art Museum expansion

The expanded Joslyn is expected to open sometime next year.
The Joslyn Art Museum is expanding
Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 5:38 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - In 2021, renderings of the Joslyn Art Museum expansion depicted a sweeping glass building juxtaposed to the historic pink marble Joslyn Memorial Building and attached to the Scott Pavilion.

In May of 2022, the museum closed to the public so work could get underway.

Nine months later, the project is right on track to finish as anticipated, by the middle of next year.

6 News got an exclusive look at the construction site.

The Joslyn Art Museum's expansion project is coming along nicely -- and 6 News got a look inside.

“This is really an incredibly exciting moment for the Joslyn Art Museum. Right now, we’re in the midst of it,” said Jack Becker, executive director of the Joslyn Art Museum. “You really get a sense of the shape of the building. It will be enclosed over the next few months. There’ll be glass on the first floor. You’ll be getting to see the landscape take shape later this year. But you know, it’s really coming to life.”

Right now, about 70 people are doing everything from moving dirt to hanging drywall.

Just beyond the framework lies the beginnings of a new atrium lobby that will house a museum shop and community space.

The expansion will accommodate a growing collection of permanent art, including 50 new pieces of contemporary work that the executive director says will take the museum to an international level.

“They’re going to see new art, familiar works of art that have been re-installed in a new way. Additional classrooms, more public space, a revitalized landscape, incredible gardens,” said Becker.

6 News also went inside one of the new classrooms under construction, which will expand the museum’s teaching capacity from two rooms to four.

They’re also taking the opportunity to revamp existing features, such as modernizing spaces in the original 1931 building and the 1994 pavilion.

When the new building opens next year it will be named for Rhonda and Howard Hawks of The Hawks Foundation, an Omaha-based nonprofit.