The Neville Public Museum
The Neville Blog
Helen is one of several special women that lived here in Brown County that valued the arts and the preservation of history. Helen’s dedication to preservation of history is most evident in her hard work to make our current museum building a reality. Helen served as President of the Neville Public Museum Corporation. Before 1983 the museum sat in a smaller and less conducive building on Jefferson St. Helen fought for a new facility that was eventually supported by the county, the city, and private donors, a true community project. Here is Helen breaking ground with the County Executive, the Mayor, and the Museum Director.
We have several artifacts in our collection that reflect Helen’s continued dedication to education, local history and the arts. The collection includes a diary, scrapbooks and letters from her time in London in 1948 and 1949 when she participated in the Teacher Exchange Program. We also care for awards given to her for her many accomplishments in education and here at the museum. Helen’s focus on education and interest in history led her to co-author the text book “It Happened Here” in 1949. We have a copy of it in our research library. Later in life she continued her education by taking different art courses. Works of art she created are also held in our collection.
The museum is thankful for people like Helen that continually support our mission and fight to preserve local history and engage the arts.
Thank you to everyone who voted on the name for our new mammoth sculpture! After over 800 community votes our sculpture has been named Tundra!
Tundra was created by Carl Vanderheyden in collaboration with John Koester and is made from three recycled 250 gallon heating oil tanks from the Green Bay area. Tundra stands 7 feet tall and weighs 750 pounds.
We would like to extend a special thank you to the Romaine & Mary Schanock Family Foundation and Renco Machine Company for making this project possible.
Meet the newest addition to the Neville Public Museum grounds! This mammoth created by local artist Carl Vanderheyden, is made from recycled steel oil tanks and found objects. These materials and the process create a signature style that can be seen throughout Brown County and across the nation. In this sculpture, his largest creation to date, Vanderheyden captures the strength and movement of an extinct creature. The mammoth joins our other outdoor sculptures including Mama and Baby Bones, our signature dinosaurs.
We are so excited about this public art piece but it’s yet to be named. We are opening naming up to our visitors! All you have to do is take a picture of or with our mammoth and post it on a public Instagram account with the #NevilleMammoth. Include your name suggestion and feel free to get creative! Please be respectful of the artist’s hard work by not climbing or hanging on the piece.
Name suggestions will be taken until August 7th. The top 5 names will be chosen and put to public vote in the month of August. You can also submit your photograph and suggestion by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.We can’t wait to see your photos and name suggestions!
Last night the tour director of Lure of the Ocean, Mike Rivkin was able to visit the exhibit during its opening reception. We had the opportunity to chat with Mike about his passion for the artwork
How did you become involved with the Stanley Meltzoff Foundation?I’ve always been a fisherman by trade, frequently going on sea fishing trips. While attending school in New York in the Late 1970s I walked into a gallery hosting a show by Stanley Meltzoff. I was mesmerized by the pieces and began following Stanley’s work. After selling my mail order business in 2004, I was looking to purchase an art piece and immediately remembered the work I had seen at Stanley’s gallery show. I went to the Stanley Meltzoff website to inquire about purchasing a painting. To my surprise, I actually received an e-mail back from Stanley Meltzoff himself. Sadly, Stanley passed away later that year; however, I became friends with his family and continued to purchase and collect Stanley’s artwork.
Which painting in the exhibition is your favorite?
All of the pieces in the exhibition are great but my two favorites are Bluefin Tuna and Ballyhoo and Secrets of Arcimboldo's Reef. Bluefin and Ballyhoo is one of Stanley’s most powerful works. The painting’s realistic representation of the Bluefin tuna as the apex predator that I know it to be makes it one of my favorites. I also enjoy Secrets of Arcimboldo's Reef because of its sheer beauty. It is a gorgeous representation of marine life and it is the personification of seeing this fish in person.
Why should people in Green Bay come to see Lure of the Ocean?
People should come and see this exhibit because although there are other marine artists, none of them are able to paint these fish as realistically as Stanley Meltzoff. Meltzoff created his works with such realism that it is as if you are seeing them in their habitat. I understand that, here you are not near the ocean, but people in the area may never have the opportunity to see these fish in real life. Coming to see Stanley Meltzoff’s work is about as close as you can get.
One thing worth repeating is that he is not an artist nor does he consider himself an art specialist. His is an avid lover of deep sea fishing and marine life. This is what drew him into Stanely’s work and now he travels sharing these pieces of art with people around the nation. See the works yourself and explore oceanic life through these inspired pieces. Lure of the Ocean is open through May 8th.
The arrival of Feline Fine: Art of Cats has us excited here at the museum. Avid cat lovers have already shared almost 1,000 photos for our #NevilleCats Instagram contest! Next week the top 12 photos will be chosen for a special photography exhibit in our lobby. Other photos will be selected for digital display in Feline Fine!
Beyond looking at all those cute cat photos, I wanted to know more about what type of cat art we had stored away in our collection. I’m happy to share what I found!Defiance by Rosetta (2000.42.1)
This bronze tiger was a part of a previous exhibit, Art and the Animal in 2000. This piece has been exhibited across the country and has even been displayed in Italy. The piece was purchased in honor of Neville Public Museum board member, Fred Baer. Rosetta has four bronze sculptures on display in Feline Fine.
Cat Figurine (1990.61.17)
This house cat figurine came to the museum in 1990 from the Hazelwood Historic House Museum. It is a casting of a cat created in Boston in the first half
of the 20th century. Our card catalog states the piece was “used by the Hazelwood caretaker”.
Untitled by O. Dickenson, 1846 (1997.114.4)
This painting also came to the museum from Hazelwood Historic House Museum. Hazelwood (built in 1837) was home to Morgan L. Martin and his family. This painting comes from this home but it’s hard to say if it hung while the Martin’s lived there. Either way it lends to our cat art theme!
We have more cat themed fun coming up this spring, including two cat adoptions with the Bay Area Humane Society. We are also partnering with Cats Anonymous and Bay Area Humane Society for our Exhibits Exposed on March 16th. This event will feature the pieces mentioned here and our mummy cat!
Also during the run of Feline Fine visitors can help out the Bay Area Humane Society and get half-price admission to the museum by bringing in any item (not just cat-related!) from the BAHS wish list. Half-price admission with donation is available Tuesday-Friday from March 6th through April 17th!
Lisa Zimmerman, Curator
Karen Ann’s contemporary work takes inspiration from the historic pieces like the artifacts in the museum’s collection. When Karen Ann took some time to look at our collection’s Iroquois raised beadwork we asked if she’d be willing to share her thoughts in a blog. So here is a guest blog post from Karen Ann Hoffman about the art of Iroquois raised beadwork and the museum’s collection. Enjoy!
Lisa Zimmerman, Curator
Iroquois Raised Beadwork
Iroquois Raised Beadwork is a rare and beautiful style of Native American art which originated in the Eastern Great Lakes region. This art is a material language which embodies, preserves and expresses Iroquois world view. Its forms and designs reach back over ten-thousand years. The motifs were first executed with bone and shell, later with moose-hair and hide and, since the 1500’s, with glass beads and trade cloth.
I want to thank my teachers: Samuel Thomas and Lorna Hill for instructing me in the the cultural connections and responsibilities that make Iroquois Raised Beadwork so rich and meaningful. Thanks are also due to the Neville Museum for exhibiting my contemporary Iroquois Raised Beadwork. I have come to understand that pieces I produce today, should stand, not for me as an individual; but for our Iroquois world view. That someday, long after my name is forgotten, my beadwork will need to speak about us in a strong, clear voice.
The Iroquois Raised Beadwork pieces in the Neville Museum’s collection represent a different segment of Iroquois beadwork often termed “Whimseys”, though some feel this term trivializes the artform (Elliott, Preserving Tradition and Understanding the Past: Papers from the Conference on Iroquois Research, 2001–2005). They were likely made in New York or Canada by members of the Mohawk and Tuscarora communities specifically for sale to the tourist market in the mid to late 1800’s.
Mohawk-style beadwork of this period, is often characterized by a heavier, more opulent beadwork style using larger seed beads than the Tuscarora-style work which may exhibit more intricate beadwork patterns using smaller seed beads. Some pieces have characteristics of both styles.
Iroquois beaders developed items which would appeal to the souvenir market: pin cushions, needle cases and match holders.
These items were sold at locations popular among Victorian Era middle and upper middle class tourists including: Niagara Falls, New York State Fairs, and exhibitions up and down the Eastern Seaboard and were often embellished with the location name or date of purchase.
Perhaps because so many of the pieces were purchased during honeymoon trips, the heart became a popular form. A tri-lobed heart was not uncommon and examples of this shape appear as pincushions in the Neville’s collection, all in the heavily raised “Mohawk-style” so popular in the last quarter of the 19th-Century.
Iroquois Raised Beadwork is fascinating and important. It relates its maker to the long chain of Iroquois beaders who came before and provides a connection to beaders whose faces we have yet to see. For myself, when I bead sometimes I swear I hear the whispers of the beaders of our past encouraging me to, “do it right, do it well. Keep our voices alive.”
Karen Ann Hoffman
100 years ago, a small group of women, called the Green Bay Art Club, began to exhibit art and other artifacts in the basement of the Kellogg Library. Their dedication was rewarded with their own space which eventually became the Neville Public Museum. Since then there has been spaces in and around the museum dedicated to the exhibition of artwork, which is one of the Neville’s core missions.
One of these spaces is right outside our front door. The fountain sculpture, Glacial Edge by O.V. Shaffer, was unveiled in 1983, the same year the new museum building opened. This piece is complimented currently by another Shaffer work, Bird Hawk which is on display temporarily on the mezzanine overlooking the fountain and the Fox River. Bird Hawk (1970) is on loan for the Lawton Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
O.V. Shaffer is one of the most prolific sculptural artists in Wisconsin, with more than 1,200 pieces throughout the Midwest. Born in Princeton, IL in 1928, Shaffer graduated from Beloit College in 1950 and went on to teach for six years at his alma mater. In 1961, Shaffer resigned from teaching and devoted himself to creating sculptures full-time. The artist won several awards over the years, including the Governor’s Award in the Arts in Wisconsin in 1970.
Schaffer’s pieces are held in several private and public collections across the state. They also adorn several public and private buildings besides our museum including the Madison Public Library, Beloit College Campus, and Riverside Park in West Bend.
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