From the landmark civil rights case Brown v. Board of Education to the invention of the flyswatter, Kansas has carved out a legacy beyond its “wheat state” reputation. Get a broader picture of Kansas’ historical and cultural significance at events commemorating 150 years of statehood.
Beginning Jan. 29, Kansas’ birthday, the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery hosts the Kansas 150/150 exhibit. Bring your friends to First Friday receptions Feb. 4 for mingling and refreshments, sponsored by the Library Friends of Art.
The show features 150 historic artifacts, ceramics, paintings, sketches, maps and books, including the first book ever published about Kansas. It contains a few chuckle-worthy passages persuading – perhaps even misleading – people to move to Kansas.
“Everyone will find at least one piece in the show that speaks to them. Through art, we’re telling the story of Kansas, from pioneer life to Topeka’s pioneering mental health legacy,” Sherry Best, Gallery Director, said. Two of three of the pioneers in art therapy originated from Topeka’s Menninger Clinic, she added.
This show features contemporary art by Topekans, along with artifacts dating back to the mid-1800s. The exhibit aims to get people thinking “where do we take Topeka from here. We’ve come this far. What next?” Best said.
“We want to give people that ‘aha’ moment that Topeka’s role is important,” she said. “The exhibit and the sesquicentennial celebration are about embracing our history for all Topekans, including area youth who might not know what significant things happened here. The library is a great venue for informing local kids of our state’s rich history.”
Tours of the exhibit, which features pieces from our permanent collections, are available by request. Call 785-580-4515. The exhibit, which includes displays in the main library areas, closes March 11.
The stories of Kansas’ art and culture continue in library-produced videos online. Visit the Digital Branch Library, www.tscpl.org, for a new lesson about our state each Monday through the end of the year. Look for the sunflower button on the Home page for quick access.
Events tied to the Kansas 150/150 exhibit can be found in our connectnow magazine. Look for the sunflower logo.
Gallery hours are Mon. through Fri. 9 am to 9 pm, Sat. 9 am to 6 pm and Sunday 12 pm to 9 pm.
The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library is 21st-century, landmark library, and features the Millennium Café, the Chandler Booktique Gift Shop, meeting rooms, and free computer and Internet access and training.