Strain Endowment Fund

University of Nebraska at Kearney

The decorative arts collection is currently on display at the G.W. Frank Museum and the exhibit is titled: Form & Function: European & American Decorative Arts. It enhances the 1880s-1930s time period associated to when the home was built, and reflects several art pieces that families like the Franks would have owned (even though none of the pieces belonged to the Frank family).

The decorative arts collection donated by the Strain family is very beneficial to students and lovers of art history. The unique collection illustrates artistic and design influences and shifts during the 1800s and into the 1900s. The collection also boasts art from several important artists and designers such as Meissen, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Steuben, and Emile Galle, and more.

It is one of the largest (if not THE largest) collection of household decorative arts in central Nebraska, or possibly the entire state.

Form & Function: European & American Decorative Arts is an exhibit dedicated to showcasing fine decorative arts such as glassworks, ceramics, enamel pieces, and furniture that serve as both functional household object and beautiful, inspiring art. Form & Function specifically showcases the collection of former Kearney residents Philip and Mildred Strain, who donated their significant collection of decorative art objects to the G.W. Frank Museum.

Over the course of a lifetime, Philip and Mildred Strain amassed one of the most substantial private collections of European and American decorative arts in the Great Plains. Graduates of Kearney State College, the Strains appeared to be a quiet and unassuming couple to most who knew them. Philip was a clerk at the Kearney Post Office Mildred worked as a schoolteacher and part-time seamstress.

But they had a passion for collecting. Born out of Philip’s love of art and history, the Strains filled their home with pieces of Meissen porcelain, Tiffany glass, and Louis XV-style furniture, all are now on display at the G.W. Frank Muse

Giving Area: UNK Multiple Colleges
Lookup ID: 01078360

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