Nebraska Authors

Norman A. Geske

Born 1915-01-01 Sioux City, IA (USA)

Died 2014-09-06
Lincoln, NE (USA)

Norman Geske came to Lincoln in 1950 to be Assistant Director at the University of Nebraska's University Art Galleries. He was named Director in 1956. In this capacity he shaped the design and mission of the Sheldon Art Gallery, in collaboration with the Nebraska Art Association, now the Sheldon Art Association. He worked with famed architect Philip Johnson to adapt the building to the mission imagined for it. Earlier curators, notably Dwight Kirsch and Mabel Langdon Eiseley, contributed much to the founding of the collection that eventually came to inhabit the Sheldon, Geske built it into the nationally significant collection of 20th century art that it became, through groundbreaking exhibitions and purchases. Geske was invited to curate the American Pavillion at the prestigious Venice Biennale in 1968 because of his success at the Sheldon. Geske was also the leading scholar of the work of the late 19th and early 20th century painter Ralph Albert Blakelock, and was the leading consultant in authenticating works attributed to that artist.

On the Sheldon Art Museum collection see Kirsch, Mabel Eiseley and Karen Janovy


Places Lived

Sioux City, IA
Minneapolis, MN
New York, NY
Lincoln, NE

Author Of

  • Nonfiction


Art; Art Criticism; Art Curation


Bachelor of Arts in Art History Degree, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Master of Arts in Art History Degree, New York University's Institute of Fine Arts, New York, NY


Art Museum Director (Sheldon, 1956-1983)
Contemporary Art Historian
Art Consultant
Bookstore Owner
Tour Guide (Europe)
Director of the Hennepin County Historical Society, Minneapolis, MN

Places Worked

Sheldon Art Gallery, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1950-1983
Niobrara/Estuary Book Store, Lincoln, NE
Hennepin County Historical Society, Minneapolis, MN
Walker Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN


“150 Notable Nebraskans”, Number 92 on the Journal Star Sesquicentennial List of Significant Nebraskans
Ralph Albert Blakelock Scholar
Director Emeritus of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Lincoln, NE


Husband of Jane Pope Geske


Venice 34. 1968.
Rudy Pozzatti: American Printmaker. 1971.
Photography of Ralston Crawford. 1974.
Art and Artists in Nebraska. 1983.
American Painting Collection of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery. 1988.
Beyond Madness: The Art of Ralph Blakelock, 1847-1919. 2007.

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Norman A. Geske

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