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OMAHA, Nebraska — In a middle-class Omaha neighborhood, Laura Vranes and John McIntyre have quietly amassed one of the most important contemporary art collections in the Midwest, filling their home with works from across the globe.
From Barcelona, street artist Btoy’s huge portrait of “Dorothy” from the film classic “The Wizard of Oz” looms over their dining room table. Behind the vivid depiction of a terrified Dorothy is former Omaha painter El Diego’s colorful graffiti-inspired mural on the wall. The works in the art-filled home seamlessly blend internationally renowned artists with local or emerging talents.
For the couple, art is essential in their lives, perhaps every bit as vital as shelter or transportation. There are nearly 500 works on display, floor-to-ceiling, salon style, filling nearly every possible space in the house.
Vranes and McIntyre, who have made a conscious choice to forgo new cars or an updated kitchen for their home, have instead put their money toward the purchase of great art they’d like to own. Vranes is a grade school librarian, and McIntyre works in finance. In lieu of traveling to see great art, they buy the art online and it travels to them.
With nearly 500 works on display, art fills nearly every possible space in this Omaha, Nebraska, home. Take a virtual tour of what may be one of the most important contemporary art collections in the Midwest. Video by NET Nebraska.
During the last decade, Vranes and McIntyre have developed a reputation for adventurous, fearless collecting, and the art world has taken notice. With an emphasis on street and pop art, their home is a showcase of graffiti-inspired and pop culture works ranging from Banksy to Andy Warhol. Even Sotheby’s in New York requested a private tour of their home.
“You can travel the world with art without really leaving your living room,” Vranes said.
This report originally appeared on NET Television.
Nebraska Public Media is a network of state PBS & NPR stations located in Lincoln, Nebraska.