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.