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After almost a year of construction, the Mulvane Art Museum reopened on May 16 with two exciting exhibitions. 


CRAVING LIGHT: The Museum of Love and Reckoning

May 16 - July 20, 2024, Rita Blitt Gallery

CRAVING LIGHT features an installation created by vanessa german as part of ArtsConnect’s Summer of Love and Justice. As a citizen artist, german worked with community members to examine the impacts of segregation and commemorate individuals involved in the Brown v. Board of Education decision. The exhibition explores the 1954 ruling as a defining moment in the fight for equality, weaving in histories and events preceding the decision, such as the 1896 court case Plessy v. Ferguson. Works in the exhibition also explore the reverberations of Brown v. Board over the past seventy years; highlight cultural practices like redlining that have continued to perpetuate inequality; and invite viewers to consider how we can help build a better future.


I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America

May 16 - July 8, 2024, Main Level Galleries

The Mulvane is pleased to present the reinstallation of the 75 timeless portraits of Black Women by Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Brian Lanker. The exhibition toured internationally throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s and along with the book, I Dream a World, that was published at the same time, it touched the lives of millions. Acquired by the Mulvane in 2019, the collection of photographs remains as relevant and powerful as ever, as images speak to the urgent vision of Black Women. This series of photographs depicts women including Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks, Althea Gibson, Lena Horne, Ruby Dee, Coretta Scott King, Oprah Winfrey, and Septima Poinsette Clark.  


Be on the lookout for other fantastic exhibitions opening throughout the summer!


ENDANGERED ART: Reclaiming a Legacy

July - December 2024, Upper Level Galleries

Museum collections represent a resource for the institutions and communities they serve. Often the memory and history of a museum can be traced through its collections, collection practices, and the ways its community engages with those objects. This exhibition features thirty-three works that have been conserved as part of the Mulvane Art Museum’s Endangered Art Program, launched in 2018. Ranging from 16th-century portraits to 19th- and 20th-century American landscapes, the paintings represent some of the Mulvane’s most important holdings. Artists featured in the exhibition include Jacopo Bassano, Anatole Henri de Beaulieu, Albert Bierstadt, Claude Buck, Emil Carlsen, John Fabian Carlson, Frederick Stuart Church, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Dorothy Fulton, Daniel Garber, Charles W. Hawthorne, Henry Salem Hubbell, Ginevra Ingersoll, Charles Émile Jacque, David Johnson, Clarisse Madeleine Laurent, Aloysius O’Kelly, Paulus Potter, William Ritschel, Theodore Robinson, George Melville Stone, George Gardner Symons, Frederick Judd Waugh, Carleton Wiggins, and Frederick Ballard Williams.


In This Place: American Dreams

July - December 2024, Upper Level Galleries

Curated by Sara Stepp, Academic & Exhibitions Curator, In This Place is the first of four exhibitions scheduled from 2024 to 2026 that explore American histories, identities, and experiences through the Mulvane Art Museum permanent collection. In This Place: American Dreams will create opportunities for conversation between works that evoke aspirations for the United States and others that reference its realities.


100 Years | Washburn Alumni

August - December 2024, Main Level Galleries

Explore artworks created by Washburn alumni who went on to distinguished careers following their education at Washburn University.  As part of the Mulvane Art Museum’s centennial celebration, this exhibition will highlight the spirit and vitality of Washburn alumni and their contributions to American art. Featured artists include Robert Merrell Gage, Jon Kuhn, Larry Peters, Thomas Parker, Daniel W. Coburn, Maria Raquel Morales, William L. Haney, Bradbury Thompson, Barbara Waterman-Peters, Mary Huntoon, Bernard Stone, John Bashor, and Frank Peers.  


On the Outside Looking In?

August - December 2024, Main Level Galleries

Guest curator Dr. Rik Hine

We constantly make snap judgements about others in terms of insiders and outsiders. Sometimes we do so before words are exchanged, thus ensuring that they never are. At their worst, these verdicts can blind us to the humanity of others; to the recognition that they too are centers of meaning, worthy of love and respect.

Photographs, of course, can’t talk and have no intrinsic meaning, but those in this exhibition have been chosen for the ways in which they can help us pay attention to our pre-reflective judgements. In some sense, though, albeit it never in one voice, they ‘speak’ to the complexity of our relationships in terms of what it means to be inside or outside. From simple statements about people in space or time, to questions about why they’re so situated; from decrees about identity to complex moral questions about how we stand in relation to them. Who’s on the inside and who’s on the outside, and why? Who’s actually the looker and who’s the lookee? And should we be looking in the first instance?

These photographs from the Mulvane’s permanent collection, curated by Prof. Rik Hine, are by artists including Larry Fink, Peter Turnley, David Seltzer, Alen MacWeeney, Donna Ferrato, and Cindy Sherman.


Women of Abstract Expressionism

August - December 2024, Rita Blitt Gallery

This exhibition celebrates the women who contributed to the development of Abstract Expressionism in the mid-twentieth century. Often unknown, working in the shadow of their male counterparts, or creating in isolation from the centers of the art world, these women pushed the boundaries of abstraction in painting. Featured artists include Rita Blitt, Elaine de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner, and Joan Mitchell.

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