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To the Stars Through Art: A History of Art Collecting in Kansas Public Schools, 1900-1950

In 1911 the school superintendent in McPherson, Kansas, organized an exhibition to acquire artwork for a new high school. This became an annual ticketed event, allowing the McPherson schools to establish a rich collection of works by regionally and nationally recognized artists, among them James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Birger Sandzén and Fern Coppedge.

Before the mid-century, schools in dozens of Kansas communities, including boarding schools for Indigenous students and segregated schools, joined McPherson in acquiring original art. To the Stars Through Art will feature 70 paintings and prints by Blackbear Bosin, Norma Bassett Hall, Walter Ufer and other artists, from more than a dozen schools and history museums across the state.

A goal of the exhibition is to guide Kansas schools in caring for their collections and using art for educational enrichment. The exhibition is being organized by Curator Elizabeth Seaton in collaboration with regional scholars and museum curators. 

Saturday, May 11 at 11:00am to 4:00pm

Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art ( Map)
14th St & Anderson Ave, Manhattan, KS 66506