‘Material Joy’ opens Oct. 2 at Eisentrager-Howard Gallery

Marcus Egli, “Plate 6,” 2011.
Marcus Egli, “Plate 6,” 2011.

‘Material Joy’ opens Oct. 2 at Eisentrager-Howard Gallery

calendar icon15 Sep 2023    

Lincoln, Neb.--“Material Joy,” featuring works from the collection of Lincoln collectors Sue and Tom Tallman, opens Oct. 2 at the Eisentrager-Howard Gallery in Richards Hall.

The exhibition runs Oct. 2-Nov. 10. Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday from noon to 5 p.m. An opening reception will be held Friday, Oct. 6 from 5-7 p.m. in the gallery. A closing reception will be held Friday, Nov. 10 from 5-7 p.m. in the gallery. Both receptions are free and open to the public.

This exhibit is part of Lincoln Collects, an ongoing series hosted by the School of Art, Art History & Design to showcase works belonging to notable art collectors in the Lincoln area. “Material Joy” reveals the duality of art collections. The act of art collecting is both personal and collaborative, reflecting multiple perspectives. The motivations of the artist, collector and artwork itself combine to create visceral responses.

Collecting art portrays a variety of human motives. For some, it’s about status; for others, it’s a form of self-expression.  For the Tallmans, it’s an activity they do together and an essential part of their home.

The Tallmans are local Lincoln collectors and strong supporters of the arts in Nebraska.  The couple has built their collection through art-focused trips to artists’ studios, contemporary galleries, local fundraising auctions like the LUX and the Bemis Center, and large art fairs like Art Miami and SOFA Chicago.

Previously, sharing their collection has meant opening their home to students, ranging from middle school through college, and providing guided tours.  By generously loaning their artwork, “Material Joy” provides a traditional “white cube” setting for a deeply personal collection.

The Tallmans started collecting art more than 35 years ago. It started small, visiting art museums, hanging art posters on their walls and purchasing small pieces from local art fairs wherever they traveled.

As their interest grew more serious, they replaced the posters with original artwork from local, national and international artists. Though they have different art focuses, 97% of their art is a mutual decision to be in their home. They both appreciate the use of different materials and techniques, so the collection is both eclectic and diverse. 

They gravitate toward color and pieces that make the viewer smile. Meeting the artist is very important to them as they appreciate understanding how and why an artist creates a piece.

Sue was born in Tanzania and raised in Omaha. Tom was born and raised in Lincoln. They met at Texas Christian University in Forth Worth and married in Omaha seven years later. Tom is the retired president of Universal Surety Company and has served on the boards of Sheldon Art Association, Lux Center for the Arts, Lincoln Arts Council and currently Public Art Lincoln. Sue is a retired secondary teacher and a part-time employee of Frameworks. She has served on the board and was past president of the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney. 

They enjoy sharing their collection—there is a story and a memory behind many of the pieces. They hope sharing their passion inspires others to experience art in their home and everyday life and not just observe art in a museum or structured setting.

The Eisentrager-Howard Gallery is located on the first floor of Richards Hall at Stadium Drive and T streets on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln city campus. Admission is free and open to the public.

Follow the Eisentrager-Howard Gallery on social media via Instagram (@eisentragerhoward) to stay apprised of any updates for the “Material Joy” exhibition.