What is history, anyway?

Be a part of a work of art that explores the idea of Nebraska’s history and what is significant in it!

As part of the renovation of the NSHS headquarters building, artists Adam Brooks and Mathew Wilson were chosen through a competitive process to create a work of art for the rotunda/entrance to the building.

They are in the process of gathering responses to a question that will become part of this final work:

Who are the people, objects, places, texts or ideas that you consider to be most associated with the history of the state of Nebraska?

Who/what/where do you think is important from Nebraska’s past?  You can offer your reflections by e-mail to  . To stimulate your thinking, here’s part of what the artists have to say about their intent for this piece and about the idea of history:

“Our view of history is that it is not reducible down to a series of ‘facts’. It is not objective. It is never comprehensive. Many voices are necessarily left out in the retelling of any historical narrative. It is a rich maelstrom of competing views in much the same way that art is.

The role of art is not to make a series of statements, but to engage dialogue. Industry of the Ordinary (Adam Brooks and Mathew Wilson) intend this work to engage a dialogue about history in general terms and Nebraskan history more specifically. It does not need to reproduce the job successfully undertaken by the Historical Society and its museum or, indeed, any other institution or collection that celebrates the history of Nebraska.”

Because it will raise questions, the work to be installed on the glass panels lining the rotunda will reflect the primary purpose of the headquarters building: to stimulate curiosity, to promote inquiry, to engage people in the consideration and preservation of the past.

Public contributions will become an integral part of the ongoing notion of what constitutes Nebraska history. 

Be a part of our work of art! Think about what you find significant to Nebraska’s history and share your responses with

To read more about “The Idea of History” and the state 1% for Art program, check out our latest Nebraska History News: http://www.nebraskahistory.org/publish/publicat/newsletr/july10.pdf

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