The Sheldon Museum of Art houses both the Sheldon Art Association collection founded in 1888, and the University of Nebraska collection, initiated in 1929. Together they comprise more than 12,000 works of art in all media. This comprehensive collection of American art includes prominent holdings of 19th-century landscape and still life, American Impressionism, early Modernism, geometric abstraction, Abstract Expressionism, pop, minimalism and contemporary art.
In the Sculpture Garden, more than 30 monumental sculptures are exhibited year-round and include major works by Gaston Lachaise, Jacques Lipchitz, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, David Smith, William Tucker, Bryan Hunt, Mark di Suvero, Michael Heizer and Richard Serra.
The Sheldon's exhibition program comprises approximately 20 exhibitions per year and focuses on American art in all media. The curatorial staff organizes exhibitions drawn from the permanent collection, many of which circulate nationally. The program also includes exhibitions organized by peer institutions throughout the United States. Educational programs such as symposia, lectures, children’s workshops and tours are organized in conjunction with each exhibition.