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City of Crete Nebraska




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Artwork on permanent display

Andrew Carnegie portrait.

Crete Public Library has multiple pieces of art on permanent display throughout the building representing local relevance, Nebraska subjects, or honoring the work of libraries, patrons, and the community.

Andrew Carnegie portrait

Location: Adult Reading Room: 

Andrew Carnegie's (1835-1919) generosity funded the construction of 2,509 libraries in the U.S, Canada, and the UK. Crete's first public library on East 13th Street was built in 1915 using a $10,000 gift from the Carnegie Foundation and served the citizens of Crete for over 100 yearsThis framed reproduction of a Carnegie portrait was a gift from the Carnegie Corporation of New York to the library in 1935; based on an original oil on canvas portrait by Francis Luis Mora, which is part of the Brown University Portrait Collection, Providence, R.I.

Stained Glass

Location: Adult Reading Room:

A framed design of stained glass hangs in a window of the Adult Reading Room and was donated by former Crete Public Library Director Maggie Harding in honor of her parents.

“Ode to Libraries" quilt

Location: library main entrance:

This piece was made by library patron Patty King and donated for the silent auction library fundraiser "A Conversation with Mark and Andy" in October 2021. The winning bidders donated it back to the library for display.

"Heartland Story," heart sculpture

Location: library main entrance:

This heart sculpture was part of a public art project in Lincoln, 'Nebraska By Heart,' for which dozens of hearts were painted or adorned with designs by artists and citizens from around the state and auctioned for charity in October 2017. Artist Michael Montag created a family of hand-cast bronze figures reading a book, set in front of the heart. This artwork was sponsored for the 2017 event by Kathie Svoboda in honor of her family memories of story telling. This is one of two heart sculptures displayed on city property; the other heart titled "Of Nebraska" is in City Park

"Extra, Extra," bird sculpture

Location: Community Room lobby:

This cardinal was one of 20 original, three-foot sculptures made for the Blue River Arts Council's summer 2019 public art project and fundraising auction "Birds of a Feather." Jennifer Lampila covered the surface in newspaper clippings representing her years as a reporter and editor of The Crete News from 2007-2017. The sculpture was purchased at auction by members of the Crete Rotary Club and donated to the library. Three additional bird sculptures are placed on city property including "Tribute" in City Park, "Hero," inside the Crete Police Station, and "Super Sir Toma," to be placed at Tuxedo Park.

Book Spines Donor Wall

Location: opposite the circulation desk:

Ceramic book spines, made first by a Nebraska Wesleyan University graduate and currently coordinated by the Doane University Art and Design Department and Associate Professor Eric Stearns, represent donations of $1,000, $500, or $250 towards construction of the new library. Each spine recognizes the name of the donor or their chosen dedication.