The Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art Shows Nebraska’s Artist ~ Dale Nichols

artwork: Dale Nichols - "January", 1935 - Oil on canvas - 30" x 40" - Williams College Museum of Art. - On view at the Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art in “Dale Nichols: Transcending Regionalism” until November 18th.

David City, NE.- “Dale Nichols: Transcending Regionalism” a major retrospective exhibition will be available to a national audience over the next fourteen months at museums in Nebraska, Georgia, and Alabama. Curated by the Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art, David City, Nebraska, this exhibition displays a body of work by internationally known painter Dale Nichols. Nichols became famous for his Americana scenes of Midwestern homesteads with picturesque red barns and white snow. These have become the prized works on which Nichols built his career and from which contemporary collectors have built their collections.  However, there is much more to the story of Dale Nichols. “Transcending Regionalism” gives credit to these commemorative artworks and events and describes how these early works explain Nichols’ exploration of style. The exhibition can be seen at the Bone Creek museum of Agrarian Art until November 18th.

Paintings dating from 1935 to 1972 establish Nichols not only as the fourth regionalist in a line of great artists, such as Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton, but one who transcended the confines of the genre to achieve universal success in art.  This exhibition represents Nichols’ years on the farm in Nebraska and manifests those memories in a variety of styles and places. Nichols held firm to his Midwestern roots while he traveled the world in search of adventure and truth.

After the Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art, “Dale Nichols: Transcending Regionalism” will travel to the Georgia Art Museum (December 17th to February 27, 2012) and then the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts (March 17- June 17, 2012).

Dale Nichols (1904–1995), also published under his full name, Dale William Nichols, was an American visual artist whose works included illustrations, paintings, lithographs, and wood carvings. He is best known for his work as a rural landscape painter. Nichols’ work is often classified with that of other regional American landscape artists, including Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton. Nichols was born on July 13, 1904 in the small town of David City, Nebraska, and began his career as an artist while studying at The Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago, IL. He spent the greater part of the 1920s and 1930s in Chicago, later becoming the Carnegie Professor in Art at the University of Illinois.

artwork: Dale Nichols - "Eldred Rock Lighthouse", 1937 - Gouache on paper - 5" x 7" - Courtesy of D. Wigmore Fine Art. On view at the Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art until November 18th.

Nichols would then take a position in 1943 as the Art Editor of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Upon leaving his post at Britannica, Nichols spent the remainder of his life traveling, splitting the majority of his time between Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alaska, and Guatemala. He died in Sedona, Arizona on October 19, 1995, at age 91. In September 1939, Nichols’ was featured in Time Magazine. Said one Time reviewer in that issue, “Subjects he prefers are the prairie landscapes of his youth, usually snowed under. These famed smooth snow effects Artist Nichols gets by laying on his oils in a thin film with watercolor brushes.” More recently, his art was published on postcards sold by the United States Postal Service in 1995. Three of Nichols’ paintings are now listed in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The Museum of Nebraska Art features four of his large oil paintings, along with four lithographs, and four sketches.

Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art is the only museum in North America devoted exclusively to Agrarian Art.  The museum is located in David City, Nebraska, boyhood home of Dale Nichols, one of America’s foremost agrarian artists.  Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art is a non-profit organization supported by charitable gifts. The museum sponsors art education programs including lectures and workshops by renowned agrarian artists exhibiting at the museum.  The museum features nationally known artists and also holds exhibits Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art has a short history but is building an impressive track record. In 2007, Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art began as a group of art enthusiasts who were looking for a way to expand art exposure in the Butler County community. The museum is located in David City, Nebraska, the boyhood home of nationally known artist, Dale Nichols. Four paintings by Nichols were commissioned for the city bank over three decades ago and this arts group had the opportunity to acquire and preserve them. The acquisition of these artworks by Dale Nichols inspired the inception of an art museum; a place for these artworks to be preserved and displayed and vitally provide a place for viewing and appreciation of art in the community. The museum has been built through the creative and insightful vision of the members of the current Board of Directors. A great need was identified to raise awareness of ever changing agricultural landscape through the rarely recognized agrarian artists, who have preserved a heritage rooted in the land. The museum has continued to grow and present high quality artworks with a strong educational impact about this subject. Visit the museum’s website at …