Most hotels in the 1870s would have had a gambling parlor, but Mr. Cozad would not allow gambling or drinking in his town. Guests in this hotel would have spent their evenings playing music and visiting. Mrs. Cozad loved music and the arts. She brought the first piano to town.
The Cozads and the hotel guests ate together. Mrs. Cozad and her mother, Mrs. Gatewood, made a lot of the meals.The woodstove is similar to one Mrs. Cozad would have used. Due to the lack of trees, corncobs and cow chips would have been used for fuel in the stove. The kitchen features works of our Artist of the Month.
Robert spent time each day in his office chronicling his adventures and writing short stories. He also had a small printing press that he used for small jobs. The display case holds scrapbooks from his teenage years. Robert signed his initials on the wall in the Hallway, presumably when the hotel was built c. 1878. This was uncovered during restoration in the 1980s.
Mr. Cozad ran the hay company, sold real estate, and was in charge of the Platte River bridge building. Johnny and Robert helped him with the businesses as they grew up. Note the Faro board on the cabinet. Mr. Cozad was one of the best Faro players of his time. Whenever he was short on money, he would make a trip to Omaha or Denver to win a few hands and fill his pockets. Mari Sandoz’s book, “Son of the Gamblin’ Man” is written about Robert’s childhood. The Cozads rented rooms to people for long term stays. They were sparsely furnished with a bed, washstand and a hook behind the door for clothes.
The Research Room contains a catalogue of Robert Henri’s paintings, and books and articles on Henri, The Eight, and Henri’s students. Robert inspired hundreds of students in almost 40 years of teaching. Edward Hopper, George Bellows and Rockwell Kent were among them. One student, Margery Ryerson, put together a book with Robert’s quotes. “The Art Spirit” is still used in art schools today after 94 years.
A representation of Henri’s Studio, or what Henri’s studio might have looked like when he was working…. Props from his models in Spain are on display in the box. Robert bought the dress on the mannequin for his wife, Marjorie.