The Michael Phipps Gallery has hosted monthly exhibits for Omaha area residents and guests since 1997. Located on the first floor of W. Dale Clark Main Library, 215 S. 15th St., the gallery is open during the normal library hours and is free to the public.
When the new Main Library was built and opened in 1977, a space was designated on the fourth floor for the display of framed prints that would be available to check out to the public. Twenty years later, Omaha Public Library staff submitted a memo to the library’s Board of Trustees requesting that the gallery be named in honor of former library director Michael Phipps. Phipps was named library director in 1983, and worked until he resigned in August 1992, due to failing health, but continued to work from home until his death on October 31, 1992. Citing many accomplishments throughout Phipps’ tenure as director, the staff and board agreed that naming the gallery in tribute to Phipps was appropriate.
The Phipps Gallery was moved to the first floor in 2001, following a library renovation. The space has provided opportunities to showcase local and national talent, as well as feature exhibits on important social and historical issues and events. The Gallery is available free of charge to local artists and art groups for exhibitions throughout the year. Exhibits are displayed for approximately one month and are scheduled 12 months in advance.