52 for 150: What’s So Special About Your Library’s Chickering Piano?

September is National Piano Month, so for week 39 of our Kansas sesquicentennial video series, we’re featuring our gorgeous Chickering square grand piano.

Jonas Chickering’s Boston company was “largely responsible for the ‘piano craze’ that overtook the United States in the mid-1800s, in which ‘middle-class’ status was epitomized by stationing a piano in the living room.” [1]


About 52 for 150

Every object has a story, and stories build history. To celebrate 150 years of Kansas statehood we’re featuring 52 objects (or collections of related objects)—something new each week throughout the year—from the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library’s 130-year-old special, and permanent collections, that represent our collective state history and cultural diversity.

Our collections are available for teachers, students, researchers and general interest, and we hope this online video program will provide insight into what’s so “special” about Special Collections. Your library’s commitment to collecting art and preserving local history makes it possible for users today and in the future to have immediate access to invaluable research material and cultural artifacts.

The piano is on permanent display in the Topeka Room (785-580-4510) on the Library’s second floor. Stop in anytime for a look! We’re located at the top of the stairs on your left.

[1] http://scholarship.rice.edu/handle/1911/18040


Heather Kearns

I've been the Sabatini Gallery's associate curator since 2004 and social media coordinator since 2008. My passion is helping people “get“ art, and by that I mean creating an environment both in-house and online which fosters a greater understanding, confidence, and sense of enjoyment from the art experience. Art should be easy to access and available to everyone. I take helping people very seriously.