Research at the Spencer Museum of Art is grounded in the premise that the arts can offer meaningful insights into investigations about real-world issues with practical applications for contemporary society.
Our investigations draw on the expertise and methodologies of the arts along with other fields of study to yield an integrated approach that better addresses pressing questions about socially relevant subjects. Many, but not all, projects spring from our global and historical collections or our work with living artists and scholars. Through varied forms of scholarly, curatorial, and artistic practice, we pose new research questions, generate new knowledge, and ultimately expand the range of traditionally accepted research outcomes.
Integrated Arts Research Initiative
The Integrated Arts Research Initiative (IARI) aims to infuse the arts into the research culture of the University of Kansas by advancing interdisciplinary projects that integrate ideas and approaches embodied in the arts.
Scholarly research at the Spencer is spearheaded by the Museum’s director, academic programs staff, and an accomplished team of curators. The breadth of the Spencer’s collection has resulted in a staff with diverse academic backgrounds, areas of expertise, and research interests.
Browse the Museum's variety of published research and scholarship, from exhibition brochures and catalogues to our academic journal.
Several onsite resources enhance opportunities for scholars interested in conducting research at the Museum.