The Spirit of Nebraska mosaic depicts a variety of symbols and images that represent Nebraska.
The orange molten center of the earth moves up through the fossil layers depicting the prehistoric bones and fossils that have been found in Nebraska.
The lower right shows praising hands next to the Capitol, which is pushing up through the Earth. The 1 stands for the one-house unicameral legislature. On the bottom left, there are working hands kneading bread next to the giant plant growing up through the earth. The blue is the Ogallala Aquifer, where we get our abundant resources for agriculture. The seeds of agriculture grow from the ground into the sky above.
Across the top, the prairie through the seasons are depicted. The white block represents winter, green for spring, golden summer under the sunshine design, and autumn colors under the blue sky.
About Reinhold Piper Marxhausen
Reinhold Pieper Marxhausen was born in Vergas Minnesota in 1922. Marxhausen was a renowned artist who worked in painting, mosaics, sculpture, and found object art.
Marxhausen sold some paintings to a magazine by the Ford Motor Company called the Ford Times. The president of Concordia College in Seward, Nebraska was shown some of Marxhausen’s paintings in this magazine and wrote a letter to him to offer him a position to teach art and start the art department. He eventually took the job and worked there for 40 years.
Marxhausen won a contest to create two of the six remaining murals in the Nebraska State Capitol. Out of the four artists selected for the honor, he was the only one who lived in Nebraska.