Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, Kansas


The Wichita Art Museum in Kansas is the largest art museum in the state. It houses many collections from American Art. The displays span three centuries with masterpieces from Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer, Horace Pippin, Edward Hopper and Charles Russell. The permanent collection includes about 7,000 works of art. Within the Wichita Art Museum is an interactive area where visitors can work on their own art. The museum is a non profit organization.

Museum hours are Sunday noon to 5pm and Tuesday thru Saturday 10am to 5pm. The museum cafe is open Sunday from 11am to 2pm, and Tuesday thru Saturday 11am to 3pm. Admission for adults is $5, for children it is $2, and seniors is $4. The location of the museum is on West Museum Boulevard near the Botanica Wichita Gardens.

Louise Caldwell Murdock wished the Roland P. Murdock collection would go into a museum. To make this happen she wrote a will to specify what would happen to her estate. She stated income from her closest relative's death would go to purchase art and a building for the museum. In 1935 the museum was opened to the public. Residents of Wichita lined up to gain access. It took until 1939 for the first Murdock painting to be on display. The museum grew exponentially over the next forty years; eventually in the 1970's a new facility had to be erected. In 2003 an addition was finished to add more space.

Each year there are exhibitions at the Wichita Art Museum. For example in 2009 a Tribute to Edgar Allan Poe, Fantasies and Fairy, and Manipulating the Figure exhibits have been or will be on display. In 2010 a Born to Be Published exhibition will be displayed. Some of the exhibitions will be ongoing, while others will last a few weeks or months.

Permanent collections at the Wichita Art Museum include the Roland P. Murdock display of a hundred and sixty- eight paintings from the colonial period, the L.S. and Ida L. Naftzger Collection, and the friends of the Wichita Art Museum. The L.S. and Ida Collection have more than 200 European, British, and American prints and drawings. The art work dates to the 16th through the 20th centuries. The Friends display is 256 paintings, sculptures, and graphics from American artists like Georgia O'Keeffe. Another exhibit is the Collection of Pre- Columbian Art, with terra cotta and stone works from Mexico and Central America.

Perhaps one of the more interesting displays is the Mrs. Walter Innes Jr. Collection of English Lusterware. This collection has fifty artifacts of 19th century English lusterware. The Clarence E. Vollmer Collection provides fifty- one prints and paintings of regional artists. The Molz Collection has over 200 goblets and glasses that are American Pressed.

Twentieth Century Second and Third Mesa Hopi baskets and dances sashes are displayed as part of the Clair A. Hannum Collection. There are sixteen items on display including the Pima Indian Basket. For visitors interested in the contemporary form of art the Elton I. Greenburg exhibit offers art from the 1960's.

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