November 12, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

In this issue we introduce a new department simply called “Room,” an exploration of the most intriguing rooms in Omaha.

The male half of this pair of doctor homeowners had since childhood been fascinated with the marvels of what is known as a wunderkammer (“wonder room”). The idea is that of a Renaissance-era cabinet of curiosities whose contents often defied description but generally dwelled in the arena of archeology, natural history, works of art, geology, ethnology, and relics of all kind. He began by commissioning a masterful carpenter to transform an otherwise bare room of his Elmwood Park home into this classic, Holmesian library. The rest of the story is best told in pictures during a journey into the realm of the esoteric and the arcane.

numbered

  1. After Mantegna by Kent Bellows
    The homeowner delivered the eulogy for the artist who died in 2005. This is one of several works inscribed to him by the artist.
  2. Mogollon culture vessel circa 800 A.C.E.
    The American Indian culture known as the Mogollon lived in the South-
west from approximately 150 B.C.E. until sometime between 1400 and 
1450 B.C.E.
  3. First edition copy of Lolita
    Predating by a full three years its 1958 American release by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial novel was first issued in paperback by Olympia Press in Paris.
  4. Bison antiquus horn core
    Excavated by the homeowner along Pony Creek near Pacific Junction, Iowa, the Bison antiquus is an extinct sub-species of the significantly smaller present-
day bison.
  5. Fossilized mammoth tooth
    The mammoth weighed up to 10 tons and had tusks as much as 15 feet long. The beast went extinct over 11,000 
years ago.