Events Calendar

All events are free and open to everyone unless otherwise noted. See individual listings for events that require registration.

August 26

Talk

Up Close Separate and Not Equal

2PM – 3PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 408, KEMPER FAMILY FOUNDATIONS BALCONY

Delve into the exhibition Separate and Not Equal: A History of Race and Education in America with curator Cassandra Mesick and discover the charged history of racial discrimination and disparity in American education as told through works of art in the Museum's collection. Up Close gallery talks reveal the personal stories behind exhibitions.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

August 27

Talk

Slow Art Sunday Jazz Storm Quilt

2PM – 3PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 317, SAM AND CONNIE PERKINS CENTRAL COURT

Slow down at the Spencer and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff. In August, get to know Jazz Storm quilt by Viola Burley Leak.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

September 05

Talk

The Color of Law

7PM – 8:30PM
THE COMMONS, SPOONER HALL, 1340 JAYHAWK BLVD

Richard Rothstein, author and research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, offer insights into how segregation in America — the incessant kind that continues to dog our major cities and has contributed to so much ongoing social strife — is the byproduct of explicit government policies at the local, state, and federal levels. Book signing immediately following.

Sponsored By: Department of African and African-American Studies, The Commons, The Spencer Museum of Art

September 08

Talk

Red Hot Research Red Hot Research

4PM – 5:30PM
THE COMMONS, SPOONER HALL, 1340 JAYHAWK BLVD

Red Hot Research brings together scholars from all disciplines, speaking for six minutes each in Pecha Kucha-inspired presentations. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and each other during breaks.

Sponsored By: The Commons, Spencer Museum of Art

September 14

Talk

Senior Session The Curious World of Diane Arbus

10AM – 11AM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 318, JACK AND LAVON BROSSEAU CENTER FOR LEARNING

John Pultz, KU associate professor of photography and 20th-century art, presents the work of Diane Arbus, whose photographs have provoked curiosity since the 1960s. Does she encourage us to view her subjects with empathy, or as objects of voyeuristic gaze? This series of informal gallery talks is designed for senior citizens but open to everyone.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

September 14

Talk

Black Love Symposium A Love No Less: Recovering the Relics of African American Romance

5:30PM – 6:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, 309 AUDITORIUM

Pamela Newkirk, professor of journalism at New York University and editor of A Love No Less: More Than Two Centuries of African American Love Letters, delivers the keynote address for the Black Love Symposium, celebrating the 80th anniversary of Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. Reception immediately following. To register and learn about the symposium, visit https://bls.ku.edu. All symposium events are free and open to the public.

Sponsored By: Department of English; American Studies; African and African American Studies; Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Spencer Museum of Art, and partners across KU

September 16

Talk

Up Close Terra Anima

2PM – 3PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 404, LARRY AND BARBARA MARSHALL FAMILY BALCONY

Experience the exhibition Terra Anima through the eyes of Assistant Curator of Research Joey Orr and learn about the Museum's new Integrated Arts Research Initiative through objects that highlight both artists and scientists as makers of objects of cultural contemplation. Terra Anima underscores the idea that soil is not inert, but rather a living environment. Up Close gallery talks reveal the personal stories behind exhibitions.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

September 22

Talk

Red Hot Research Graduate Edition

4PM – 5:30PM
THE COMMONS, SPOONER HALL, 1340 JAYHAWK BLVD

Red Hot Research brings together scholars from all disciplines, speaking for six minutes each in Pecha Kucha-inspired presentations. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and each other during breaks. This session features graduate student research.

Sponsored By: The Commons, Spencer Museum of Art

September 24

Talk

Slow Art Sunday Figure Before Blackness

2PM – 3PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 405

Slow down at the Spencer and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff. In September, get to know Figure Before Blackness by Robert Motherwell.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

September 27

Talk

Terra Anima: Geomorphologies

1:30PM – 2:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART

Daniel Hirmas (KU Geography and Atmospheric Science) presents a performative lecture about his soil monoliths featured in the exhibition Terra Anima.

Sponsored By: Department of Geography and Atmospheric Science, the Environmental Studies Program, the Kansas Biological Survey, Spencer Museum of Art

September 28

Talk

Senior Session Separate and Not Equal: A History of Race and Education in America

10AM – 11AM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 404, LARRY AND BARBARA MARSHALL FAMILY BALCONY

Curator of Global Indigenous Art Cassandra Mesick-Braun uses works of art and visual culture to explore the U.S. history of racial disparity in education during the 19th and early 20th centuries. This series of informal gallery talks is designed for senior citizens but open to everyone.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

September 28

Talk

Terra Anima Claire Pentecost

11AM – 12PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 404, LARRY AND BARBARA MARSHALL FAMILY BALCONY

Claire Pentecost is an artist and professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The motivation for her work is to learn about the world she lives in. Join Pentacost for a discussion about her soil chromatography prints, created by exposing soil samples to paper through a photographic process.

Sponsored By: Department of Geography and Atmospheric Science, the Environmental Studies Program, the Kansas Biological Survey, Spencer Museum of Art

September 28

Talk

Terra Anima Terra Infirma: Our Quaking, Shaking, Baking, Ailing Earth

5:30PM – 6:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART AUDITORIUM, RM 309

For centuries, terra was firma: solid ground on which edifices could be built. These days, “the environment” is said to be ailing. Kath Weston (University of Virginia, Anthropology) considers whether this shift can be reconciled with recent work in the arts and sciences that features happier depictions of a terra laced with pollinating beetles, industrious earthworms, and immunity-building bacteria.

Sponsored By: by the Department of Geography and Atmospheric Science, the Environmental Studies Program, the Kansas Biological Survey, Spencer Museum of Art

September 29

Talk

Terra Anima Roundtable with Claire Pentecost and Kath Weston

10AM – 11AM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, RM 307, RECEPTION ROOM

Artist Claire Pentecost and anthropologist Kath Weston lead an informal discussion that reflects on some of the themes throughout the Museum’s Terra Anima programming.

Sponsored By: the Department of Geography and Atmospheric Science, the Environmental Studies Program, the Kansas Biological Survey, the Spencer Museum of Art

September 29

Talk

Red Hot Research Red Hot Research

4PM – 5:30PM
THE COMMONS, SPOONER HALL, 1340 JAYHAWK BLVD

Red Hot Research brings together scholars from all disciplines, speaking for six minutes each in Pecha Kucha–inspired presentations. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and each other during breaks. This session features Claire Pentecost and Kath Weston as respondents to KU researchers.

Sponsored By: The Commons, Spencer Museum of Art

October 12

Talk

Senior Session Heroic Legacies: How two armored Heraldic Figures embody Lineage and Memory in the Northern Renaissance

10AM – 11AM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 318, JACK AND LAVON BROSSEAU CENTER FOR LEARNING

Chassica Kirchoff, PhD candidate in the Kress Department of Art History, discusses two bearded figures in the Museum’s collection that once guarded the tomb of a wealthy couple from the Belgian city of Leuven. Her talk explores the ways that these 16th-century sculptures and the tomb they once adorned proclaimed their patrons’ identities and tied them to illustrious classical and medieval pasts, as well as to the courtly fashions of their time. This series of informal gallery talks is designed for senior citizens but open to everyone.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

October 26

Talk

Senior Session Lilla Cabot Perry in Japan

10AM – 11AM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 401, LESTER "DUSTY" LOO GALLERY

Sara Anne Stepp, a PhD student in the Kress Department of Art History, discusses American Impressionist Lilla Cabot Perry’s three years in Japan and the impact of her travels on her later work. The talk highlights Young Caretaker, a painting in the Spencer’s collection created during Perry’s time in Japan. This series of informal gallery talks is designed for senior citizens but open to everyone.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

October 29

Talk

Slow Art Sunday The Ballad of the Jealous Lover of Lone Green Valley

2PM – 3PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 407

Slow down at the Spencer and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff. In October, get to know The Ballad of the Jealous Lover of Lone Green Valley by Thomas Hart Benton.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

November 05

Talk

Stories from the Museum Archives: Sallie Casey Thayer Collects

2PM – 3PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, RM 305, STEPHEN H. GODDARD STUDY CENTER

Spencer Museum archivist Robert Hickerson and student assistant Rose Wolf open up the archives for an exploration of primary resources that document the collection that initiated an art museum at KU. This behind-the-scenes program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Civic Leader and Art Collector: Sallie Casey Thayer and an Art Museum for KU and the Museum’s centennial celebration of our collection.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

November 09

Talk

Senior Session Around the Cake: A Visual Confection by Wayne Thiebaud

10AM – 11AM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 318, JACK AND LAVON BROSSEAU CENTER FOR LEARNING

Lauren R. Erickson, interim director for KU Marketing Communications, discusses Wayne Thiebaud’s delectable painting Around the Cake. Her talk considers the painting’s cultural context, including issues of domesticity, women's roles in mid-century homes, and American tastes for consumer culture whipped into its white-frosted layers. This series of informal gallery talks is designed for senior citizens but open to everyone.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

November 10

Talk

IARI Research Forum: Fellows Discussion

4PM – 5PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, RM 307, RECEPTION ROOM

Now in its second year, the Integrated Arts Research Initiative integrates the arts into KU research. Join current and past faculty, undergraduate, and graduate IARI fellows for a discussion of their interdisciplinary work.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

November 10

Talk

IARI Research Forum: MacArthur Keynote Conversation

5:30PM – 6:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART AUDITORIUM, RM 309

Now in its second year, the Integrated Arts Research Initiative integrates the arts into KU research. Join current and past faculty, undergraduate, and graduate IARI fellows for a discussion of their interdisciplinary work.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

November 12

Talk

Up Close Civic Leader and Art Collector: Sallie Casey Thayer and an Art Museum for KU

2PM – 3PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 317, SAM AND CONNIE PERKINS CENTRAL COURT, GALLERY 316, GALLERY 315

Delve into this exhibition celebrating our collection’s centennial with Curator and Director of Academic Programs Celka Straughn as your guide. Discover the collecting motivations of visionary philanthropist Sallie Casey Thayer and learn how her ideas continue to inform teaching, learning, and research at the Museum today. Up Close gallery talks reveal the personal stories behind exhibitions

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

November 17

Talk

Red Hot Research Graduate Edition

4PM – 5:30PM
THE COMMONS, SPOONER HALL, 1340 JAYHAWK BLVD

Red Hot Research brings together scholars from all disciplines, speaking for six minutes each in Pecha Kucha–inspired presentations. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and each other during breaks. This session features graduate student research.

Sponsored By: The Commons, Spencer Museum of Art

November 19

Talk

Slow Art Sunday Amida Buddha (Amitabha)

2PM – 3PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 407

Slow down at the Spencer and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff. In November, get to know Amida Buddha (Amitabha)

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

December 14

Talk

Senior Session Civic Leader and Art Collector: Sallie Casey Thayer and an Art Museum for KU

10AM – 11AM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 317, SAM AND CONNIE PERKINS CENTRAL COURT

A hundred years ago, Kansas City philanthropist Sallie Casey Thayer donated her extensive collection to the KU, forming the basis for what is today the Spencer Museum of Art’s collection. Celka Straughn, Director of Academic Programs, discusses this eclectic collection, from Japanese prints and American paintings to sumptuous textiles, ancient artifacts, and even valentines. This series of informal gallery talks is designed for senior citizens but open to everyone.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

December 17

Talk

Slow Art Sunday Presepio

2PM – 3PM

Slow down at the Spencer and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff. In December, get to know our 18th-century Italian Presepio.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

December 24

Talk

Home for the Holidays

12PM – 1PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART

Every year, Spencer Museum Director Saralyn Reece Hardy spends an afternoon in the galleries welcoming visitors and leading informal tours to celebrate the holiday season. This year's tour centers on the origins of the Museum and collecting and sharing art as a form of civic engagement. Tours begin at 12pm and 1pm. Join us and make this Spencer Museum tradition your own. These tours are presented in conjunction with the centennial celebration of the Museum’s collection.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art