Oct 30 2022

MY FRIEND NORMAN | Special Screening + Reception

The Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center and Friends of The Ross present a special members-only screening of the documentary MY FRIEND NORMAN followed by a reception in celebration of what would have been Norman Geske’s 107th birthday. Presented in conjunction with Sheldon Art Association and Museum of Nebraska Art.

On what would have been his 107th birthday (he was born on Halloween—costumes optional), take a journey with Laurie Richards and a host of Nebraska’s friends of the arts as they tour local haunts, the Interstate 80 Sculpture Garden, the Museum of Nebraska Art, Minneapolis, New York, Paris, Venice, and points in between with Norman Geske, Director Emeritus of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery (Sheldon Museum of Art). The nine chapters of this film present Norman’s various influences in Nebraska and beyond during his tenure at the University Art Galleries and the Sheldon and chronicles accomplishments of both he and his loving partner, Jane Pope Geske, through their lives. Norman portrait art by Reynold Peterson.

1:00 p.m. | Members-only screening of the documentary MY FRIEND NORMAN at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center
2:30 p.m | Reception in the Van Brunt Visitor’s Center, with a cash bar (featuring Negronis, Norman’s favorite cocktail) and light refreshments

Admission by freewill donation to the Norman A. Geske Cinema Showcase. Open to Friends of The Ross, Sheldon Art Association, and Museum of Nebraska Art members and their guests. RSVP deadline October 25.

NORMAN A. GESKE (1915-2014)

Norman A. Geske (1915-2014) served as director of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery (now named the Sheldon Art Museum) from 1956 until he retired in 1983. Among his numerous accomplishments: he collaborated with architect Philip Johnson to design the Sheldon building, one of the most distinguished buildings in this state; commissioner for the American Pavilion at the prestigious Venice Biennale in 1968; the Interstate 80 Bicentennial Sculpture Project; the leading expert on late 19th—early 20th century American painter Ralph Albert Blakelock; a widely acclaimed survey of American Sculpture in 1970; established the Sheldon Film Theater (now the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center) in 1973; and built a nationally significant 20th-Century American art collection. His honors included the Governor’s Arts Award; Distinguished Service Award from UNK; a commendation from the University of Nebraska Board of Regents; Mayor’s Arts Award, City of Lincoln; Sower’s Award, Lincoln Community Foundation, and the Nebraskaland Foundation Pioneer Award.

Sunday, October 30 – 1:00 p.m.

Hearing Assistance
Assisted Listening Devices Available
Run Time

90 minutes


Admission by freewill donation. Open to Friends of The Ross members and their guests, Sheldon Art Association members and their guests, and MONA members and their guests. 


“The impact of Norman Geske’s legacy is felt near and far. His influence is profound. As has been said, he is the Grandfather of Nebraska art and I’m so lucky to have called him my friend.

Laurie Richards

Director, My Friend Norman

“Norman had supreme confidence in deciding what works he would acquire for Sheldon. That confidence proved to be prescient in so many ways. We owe him a great debt for this legacy.”

Suzanne Wise

Executive Director, Nebraska Arts Council

 “[Geske’s] unforgettable unmatched legacy will continue each time a visitor comes to Sheldon, sees the sculpture across the UNL campus or a film screening at the Ross.”

L. Kent Wolgamott

Lincoln Journal Star

“Working with Norman all those years not only was an immeasurable joy but also an extraordinarily enlightening experience that broadened the scope of my life as he did for so many others.”

Danny Ladely

Director, Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center

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