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How Fate Led To A World-Class Art Museum In Small-Town Clarinda, Iowa

By C.J. JANOVY • AUG 17, 2016

Robert and Karen Duncan are well-known art collectors in Lincoln, Nebraska – but they haven’t forgotten their hometown in southwest Iowa.

The couple moved to Lincoln in the 1960s, when Robert came to run the family business, Duncan Aviation, a massive airplane service business. They also started collecting art. Forty years later, they had amassed a significant collection, and built a home designed to display it, on forty acres landscaped for a sculpture garden.

They have other collections, too. Including Karen’s books. More than ten thousand of them. One day she got an earful from their property manager, Susan Roth.

“She said, ‘We have to do something about the books. They’re out of control. There’s no place to put them. We need to build a building out north of the house, and we could store our art in it and our books.”

But Karen didn’t want to build a building.

“If we do anything,” she told Roth, “I would buy a Carnegie Library and move it on the property.”

Read the original, full story here on the KCUR website

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