Four Star Card & Gift Gallery is offering a fun, informative retrospective of Nebraska history in the form of decks of cards that celebrate the 150 years of our state’s rich history.

The “Legacy of Nebraska” playing cards have been produced by Four Star Card & Gift Gallery with the approval and cooperation of Nebraska artist Todd A. Williams and the Nebraska 150 Foundation.

James Plucknett, who owns Four Star Card & Gift Gallery with his wife, Kris, said the decks are similar to those done several years ago by Lincoln history activist and publisher Mary Jane Nielsen, whose playing cards featured nostalgic photos of a number of Lincoln’s most popular venues and events. Four Star Card & Gift Gallery served as a sales outlet for the cards.

The Sesquicentennial commemorative playing cards feature artwork from the “Painting the Legacy of Nebraska” exhibition and capture the nostalgia and history of Nebraska. The cards showcase the artistic wizardry of Williams, whose work depicts significant historic geography and figurative elements from each of Nebraska's 93 counties.

“From there, we pared it down to what we felt were 54 of the strongest paintings that reflect our state’s history,” said Plucknett. Selected as the “aces” of the deck were images of Husker coaching legend Tom Osborne (representing Adams County), a painting of a bison (in Sherman County), the Trinity Cathedral and First National Tower (Douglas County), and the Nebraska State Capitol (Lancaster County). The “jokers” in the deck are paintings of “Johnny Carson 1940” (Madison County) and Buffalo Bill Cody (Lincoln County).

“I liked the popularity that Mary Jane’s cards enjoyed and thought that this project could be patterned after that, to celebrate the state’s history and to showcase the work of Todd Williams,” said Plucknett. “He is remarkably talented and highly acclaimed.”

The Legacy of Nebraska playing cards are priced at $12 per deck and available exclusively at Four Star Card & Gift Gallery, which anchors the east side of Old Cheney Center, 5500 Old Cheney Rd. Four Star also sells the Legacy of Nebraska Art Book, produced by the NE 150 Foundation and priced at $95.

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