Omaha History “Uncovered” in Durham’s Newest Exhibit

History is revealed to us in many ways. Artifacts, photographs and personal memories can help us make connections to our past. Opening August 7, The Durham Museum presents Omaha Uncovered: Revealing History through Art and Story, an exhibit focused on uncovering the vast and fascinating history of our city. The exhibition highlights methods of conservation, giving visitors an up-close look into how history can come to life through objects. Over the course of the exhibition, art conservator Kenneth Bé from the Ford Conservation Center will periodically be “on exhibit” actively conserving a historic painting from 1905 entitled “Aerial View of Omaha” that once hung in the lobby of the Omaha Bee newspaper office. The beautifully painting, which is part of the museum’s permanent collection, looks west from the Missouri River towards the western horizon and elegantly captures the layout of the Omaha of the past and present. Lovers of maps, history and art will enjoy seeing the faded mural brought to new life over the duration of the project. Guests can also see preservation in action in our working lab of the Photo Archive. Museum staff will be in the exhibit actively digitizing historic photographs from the museum collection as well as highlighting stories of iconic Omaha photos through the personal memories of long-time Omaha resident and retired museum employee/volunteer, Bill Gonzalez.

Art conservator Kenneth Bé will be working in the gallery:

Opening day, August 7th (10AM – 2 PM)
Tuesdays & Thursdays (10AM – Noon)
2nd Saturday of the month (10AM -Noon)

Omaha Uncovered is supported locally by Kiewit; the D F Dillon Foundation; Humanities Nebraska; Ramona and Deryl Hamann; the Gilbert M. and Martha H. Hitchcock Foundation and Whitmore Charitable Trust. Media support provided by KETV.

Exhibition Related Programs

 An Aerial View of Omaha with Kenneth Bé: Virtual Presentation
Tuesday, August 17, 6:30-7:30PM CST
Join art conservator Kenneth Bé in a preview of his work on “Aerial View of Omaha”. Bé will present information about the painting itself, its current condition and his plan for conservation while on display in the coming months at the museum as a part of Omaha Uncovered: Revealing History through Art and Story. Bé is originally from the Hudson Valley region north of New York City and has worked as a painting conservator at The Cleveland Museum of Art and more recently at Omaha’s Ford Conservation Center since 2008. There is no cost to attend this virtual presentation, but registration is required. Once you have registered, you will be emailed a link to access the program. Register by calling 402-444-5071, emailing, or going online to

A Conservation Conversation with the Ford Conservation Center: Virtual OR In-Person
Tuesday, October 12, 6:30-7:30 CST
The Durham Museum has partnered with The Ford Conservation Center and conservator Kenneth Bé to actively conserve a historic mural from 1905 entitled “Aerial View of Omaha”. But did you know that the Ford Conservation Center has two other branches of conservation work? While Bé’s expertise is in painting conservation, Hilary LeFevere and Rebecca Cashman work with paper and object conservation (respectively). All three conservators will join us for a panel presentation about their work with museums, libraries and other clients including the challenges and successes of working with a variety of historic objects. You may attend this lecture either virtually or in-person—you choose! Both options require registration. If you wish to attend the lecture at the museum, regular museum admission applies; free for members. The virtual presentation is free. After registering for the virtual option, you will be emailed a link to access the program. Register for either option by calling 402-444-5071, emailing, or going online to