The history of art at the Library dates back over 130 years to the late 19th-century when a guy named Edward Wilder got a job at the Topeka Free Public Library and changed things for the better.
Wilder was from Boston, Massachusetts, and when he took a job as secretary-treasurer of the newly-established Atchison-Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad in 1871, he brought with him a vision of the Library being more than just books. He wanted it to be a place where the arts would thrive, so he started collecting art and our permanent collection was born.
We’ve changed a lot over the years, and when the Library underwent expansion in the 1990s, a formal gallery space was created—the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery—and our reach increased. We had a beautiful space with a larger staff and our goal was to provide both borrowed exhibitions as well as a chance to show off our vast permanent collection.
Then Facebook happened.
Since March of 2009, we have worked to reach beyond our walls and out into the world, because you shouldn’t have to physically be here to benefit from knowing us. Being friends on Facebook means getting all the information you need about Sabatini exhibits, art classes, artist’s talks, First Friday reminders and more.
You get bits of art history, inspirational and motivational quotes, art industry news, advice and resources, craft ideas, weekly new book lists from the 700s, sneak peeks behind the scenes and art trivia. You get to see new art we’ve bought for the growing collection, hear funny comments we’ve overheard at the desk, and a research resource at your fingertips. No matter where you live, you can ask a reference question and we’ll do our best to find you the best answer.
Consider yourself officially invited to our growing Facebook party.
It’s pretty fun over here and we’d love to have you. Check out our page here and if you like what you see, join our growing list of friends. We look forward to meeting you.