No. 23--The Temple
With the exception of the school of music, which began as a private institution, The Temple, at 12th and R, is the only university building which does not stand on the campus. The reason for this seeming ostracism of the Temple--indeed, actual ostracism at the time it was built, is that it was a gift from John D. Rockefeller, jr. The time was 1906, when muckraking and Rockefeller reviling were at their height. Rockefeller had been a student at Brown university when E. Benjamin Andrews, in 1906 chancellor at Nebraska, was its president.
The name of Rockefeller and the smell of oil were offensive to those who had to do with accepting and placing buildings, but the gift was not quite to be refused. The Temple was delicately dropped outside the gates. However, the Temple has been a useful and busy edifice these 85 years, and but for reporters with fingers always crooked hungrily over typewriter keys old ghosts would not have been disturbed. The Y. M. C. A. has used the Temple for headquarters and other innocent activities have been housed therein.
Principally, however, the building is known as the theater of the University Players, Lincoln's theatrical stock company, personnel of which consists of instructors and advanced students of dramatic art. Six plays are presented each university year. Here Fred Ballard's "Believe Me Xantippe" had its premiere--Mr. Ballard being, a university student some 35 years ago. His more recent "ladies of the Jury" also appeared here, but not the premiere. A number of the players have become known elsewhere--Zolly Lerner, Augusta French, Jack Rank and others. The name of Miss H. Alice Howell, for years director of The Players, is inevitably connected with this organization.
No. 24--Art Gallery, Morrill Hall
Morrill hall, 14th and U, is a spot on the campus where every one is very welcome. In most of the campus buildings, while by no means barred, one is likely to be run down by a horde of young things charging to a class. As they outstrip one on the stairs he is left acutely aware of his brittle old bones and the fact that from college days he can recall offhand only two French verbs and one theorem.
In this hall--named for Charles H. Morrill, Nebraskan who did a great deal for the university--you may saunter and look, and look and saunter. The art galleries are in the two top rooms, the museum on the two below. Dwight Kirsch of the University art department caught this particular slant of sun into the upper art gallery.
Like the native Chicagoan who never heard of Hull House, we know too little about what we have at our own doors. The Nebraska art association has built up a fine collection of paintings. Each year it holds art exhibit, and the fact that it buys one of more pictures every year brings in a collection worth inspecting. The late Mr. and Mrs. F. M. Hall of Lincoln bequeathed their collection to the university, also a fund for further purchases.
Among the valuable paintings by modern artists owned by the art association are the late Grant Wood's "Arnold Comes of Age," one of Thomas Hart Benton's vigorous paintings, "Lonesome Road" and John Stewart Curry's "Roadmender's Camp."
© 2000, 2001 by Kathie Harrison, Ted & Carole Miller