2011 – Kansas 150/150

Objects Tell Stories and Stories Build History

Kansas 150/150:
150 Pieces from the Collection,
150 Years of Statehood
January 29 – March 11, 2011
Sabatini Gallery

To schedule a tour for your class or group:

CALL: 785-580-4515
EMAIL: Gallery@tscpl.org
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About This Exhibit

As part of the statewide initiative commemorating the 150th anniversary of Kansas’ statehood, the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery presents Kansas 150/150. This exhibit features 150 objects from the fine art and Special Collections of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, which tell Topeka’s story throughout our history.

Artists, politicians, businessmen, medical professionals, religious leaders, and everyday citizens have shaped Topeka since its founding in 1854. The library’s holdings include historic artifacts, documents, and art that preserve our culture and enrich our lives. From original historic newspapers and diaries to the latest local authors, from Kansas’s earliest artists to the ideas that will build Topeka’s future, find your own connections to the people and events that make our community what it is today.

Some of the lesser-known characters from our past have great stories. Dr. Samuel Crumbine, Secretary of the Kansas State Health Department, realized the connection between flies and disease and commissioned the invention of the flyswatter—a Topeka invention—to fight the spread of germs. Other creative residents included Charles Sheldon (best-selling author whose series “In His Steps” inspired millions of people to ask “whatwould Jesus do?”), Gwendolyn Brooks (the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize—born here and stayed only five weeks), Merrell Gage (the only Topekan to win an Academy Award for his documentary “The Face of Lincoln”),  Elmer “Les” Dresslar (the voice of the Jolly Green Giant), and Aaron Douglas (called the Father of African American art). From arrowheads of the original native tribes who lived along the banks of the Kansas River to ReThink Topeka, you will enjoy this journey through the history and arts and leave knowing Kansans have a lot to be proud of. —Sherry Best, Curator


Related Events / Free and Open to the Public

First Fridays / Opening Reception
Friday | February 4 | 5:30 PM – 8:45 PM
At the Sabatini Gallery

First Fridays
Friday | March 4 | 5:30 PM – 8:45 PM
At the Sabatini Gallery

52 for 150: What’s So Special About Special Collections?
Every Monday through 2011 | At our Digital Branch
Happy Birthday, Kansas! Objects tell stories and stories build history. To celebrate, we’re featuring 52 videos—something new each week—highlighting objects from our permanent collection that represent our collective history and cultural diversity. Produced by Heather Kearns, Associate Curator, Sabatini Gallery.

What Does Kansas Mean to You? Video Project
Saturday | January 29 | 9 AM – 5:30 PM
Friday | February 4 | 12 PM – 8:30 PM
At the Sabatini Gallery
Happy Birthday, Kansas! In conjunction with our Kansas Reads community reading initiative, answer the question “what does Kansas mean to you” in two minutes or less. Videos will be posted online and archived in the Library’s permanent collection.

Tuesday | February 22 | 7 – 8:30 PM
At the Sabatini Gallery
Curator Sherry Best leads a gallery walk-through of the Kansas 150/150exhibit, which features the coolest things we could find in our Library’s art collection tied to Kansas. She may even bring more stuff commemorating 150 years of statehood.

Suggested Books & DVDs to Check Out

Some of these books are in the circulating collection, and some are located in the Topeka Room’s Kansas Collection (non-circulating reference), located at the top of the stairs on the second floor (Room 204). See item record for details.

Indians of Kansas: The Euro-American Invasion and Conquest of Indian Kansas
by William E. Unrau

The End of Indian Kansas: A Study of Cultural Revolution 1854-1871
by Craig Miner

Bleeding Kansas: Contested Liberty in the Civil War Era
by Nicole Etcheson

Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas After Reconstruction
by Nell Irvin Painter

The Conquest of Kansas by Missouri and Her Allies: A History of the Troubles in Kansas from the Passage of the Organic Act until the Close of July 1856
by William A. Phillips

Freedom’s Crucible: The Underground Railroad in Lawrence and Douglas County, Kansas 1854-1865
by Richard B. Sheridan

Kansas: The History of the Sunflower State 1854-2000
by Craig Miner

History of the State of Kansas
by A.T. Andreas

Kansas, A Land of Contrasts
by Robert Richmond

A Funnie Place, No Fences: Teenagers’ Views of Kansas 1867-1900
by C. Robert Haywood

What Kansas Means to Me: 20th-Century Writers on the Sunflower State
by Thomas Fox Averill

Kansas—The 34th Star: A Photographic Treasury of Kansas Issued in Commemoration of the American Bicentennial
by Nyle H. Miller

What’s the Matter with Kansas? (DVD)

Our collection of Sunflower JourneysDVDs—a series produced by KTWU/Channel 11 since 1987—is vast and full of wonderful Kansas people, places and things. Start browsinghere, and call if you want more information about subject areas (Reference 580-4400).

Michael Perkins

Multimedia Producer and Visual Artist at the library. Painter of the Kids Library Mural and 3D scapes, Designer of the Learn and Play Bus and AdventureMobile. When not at work you can find me drawing, making stuff out of wood and getting into trouble.