The first comprehensive exhibition of works by renowned American muralist and Iowa native Louis Grell is currently on exhibition at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) through Feb. 20 thanks to a partnership between UNO and the Louis Grell Foundation.
The exhibition, “Discovering Louis Grell: American Muralist,” which opened for public viewing Jan. 17, is on display at the UNO Art Gallery, located in UNO’s Weber Fine Arts Building.
Arguably, Grell’s murals are far better known than Grell himself. A native of Council Bluffs, Iowa, his work has been showcased in the Times Square Paramount Hotel in New York City, Chicago's Gateway Theatre and Union Station in St. Louis, among other locations; however, he has never had a show dedicated to his work, which also includes paintings, illustrations and commercial art, until now.
UNO art history students enrolled in Prof. Amy Morris’ curatorial seminar this fall played a major role in planning and executing the exhibition.
“Students participated in all phases of the exhibition process from selecting the artworks and designing their layout to choosing the best font for the wall labels,” Morris said.
A mini-documentary, "Discovering Louis Grell, 1887-1960, Vision & Versatility,"will premiere in the Weber Fine Arts Building and be available for viewing throughout the opening. The video program chronicles Grell's story and the work of the Curatorial Seminar students creating the Gallery show.
The video is the result of the collaboration between the Department of Art and Art History, MaverickPR and The Louis Grell Foundation. The program was produced by UNO Television with support from The College of Communication, Fine Arts & Media and The Louis Grell Foundation.
For more information, please contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at 402.554.2129 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Louis Grell
Louis Grell (1887 – 1960) was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and showed artistic talent as young as age two. At the age of 12, Grell’s parents sent him to Hamburg, Germany, to live with his grandmother to study art. He continued his studies in Munich and Paris.
After World War I, Grell returned to the United States where he began to design stage sets for Broadway in New York City. Grell also worked as an instructor at The Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, where Walt Disney was a student. He also taught at the Art Institute of Chicago where he exhibited 25 times.
Grell Murals can be found at the following locations:
- Times Square Paramount, New York City
- Netherland Plaza Hotel, Cincinnati, Ohio
- Chicago Theatre, Chicago
- Union Station, St. Louis, Mo.
- Toledo Paramount, Toledo, Ohio
- Gateway Theatre, Chicago
About the Louis Grell Foundation
This mission of the Louis Grell Foundation is to “collect, archive, preserve, exhibit and educate” the public regarding the works of Louis Frederick Grell (1887-1960). The foundation is run by the Council Bluffs, Iowa Grell family. Richard Grell, Louis Grell’s grand-nephew, continues to research the career of his great-uncle, looking for undiscovered murals and other artwork.