The Wichita Art Museum houses a permanent collection of over 8,000 pieces of art and is surrounded by a beautiful Art Garden. The emphasis is on art made by United States artists, including – of course – many pieces that reflects the rich cultural heritage of the Great Plains.
One of the most famous collections in the museum is the Roland P. Murdock collection, which contains over 165 works, including four works by Edward Hopper, three works by Thomas Eakins, a set of pendant paintings by John Singleton Copley, and over thirty works by Arthur Dove.
If you are interested in looking at something else than paintings, we recommend the glass collection, which is filled with exquisite glass objects from the 19th, 20th and 21st century. The museum’s lobby features a ceiling and chandelier made by the glass sculptor Dale Chihuly.
The Wichita Art Museum is also home to a collection of Pre-Columbian art, including several amulets made circa 1000-1250 CE.
Examples of artists represented at the Wichita Art Museum
Edward Hopper, Thomas Eakins, John Singleton Copley, Arthur Dove, Mary Cassatt, Robert Henir, Horace Pippin, Cynthia Schira, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Mary Sue Foster, Charlotte Dieterich, Charles Sheeler, John Marin, and Yasuno Kuniyoshi.
Location: 1400 West Museum Blvd, Wichita, KS 67203, United States
Coordinates: 37°41′42″N 97°21′23
The Wichita Art Museum has been sponsored by several of the large local companies. One of the larger sponsors is Boeing Aviation and the Boeing Foyer is a part of the museum.
The Art Garden at Wichita Art Museum
The Wichita Art Museum is surrounded by eight acres of lush gardens: The Art Garden. The Art Garden is an outdoor museum filled with greenery and over a dozen sculptures.
This garden, located along the Little Arkansas River, opened in September 2015 and is accessible to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and there is no fee to enter.
The Art Garden is home to over a hundred trees and nearly 600 shrubs, and 20,000 perennials and grasses have been planted here. It’s not just a haven for humans; plenty of wild animals – including many birds – have moved in here to enjoy this city oasis.
The Art Garden has received several prestigious awards, including an Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects, Prairie Gateway Chapter.
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The Roland P. Murdock Collection
The roots of the Roland P. Murdock Collection at the museum goes back to 1915 when Louise Murdock willed money to establish a trust to start the Roland P. Murdock Collection of art in memory of her husband. The collection was to be focused on art created by American painters, sculptors, potters, and textile weavers.
Louise Murdock’s friend Elizabeth Stubblefield Navas was responsible for selecting and purchasing art for the collection until 1962.
The Wichita Art Museum
The Wichita Art Museum opened in 1935, with art borrowed from other museums.
In 1963, the museum building got two wings and a new lobby, and was thus able to house and exhibit much more art than before.
In 1964, a foundation was created to raise funds for new art purchases.
In the 1970s, the City of Wichita funded a climate-controlled museum facility.
In the early 2000s, the museum building was enlarged again and reached a total size of 115,000 square feet.