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100 Ways to Love Your Spencer

To celebrate 100 years of our collection, we’re sharing 100 ways to interact with or give back to the Spencer Museum of Art.

Spencer Art 100


Highlights from our Founding Gift

Winslow Homer, West India Divers


Winslow Homer
West India Divers, 1899,
watercolor, scraping, chalk on paper,

China, Medicine Buddha


Medicine Buddha,
late 1500s–early 1600s,
bronze, gilding, pigment,

Portrait of a woman


Portrait of a woman,
circa 1850,

Kiowa peoples, cradleboard


Kiowa peoples,
late 1800s–1928,
wood, buckskin, cloth, metal, beading, incising,

Japan, Kyūden zushi (palace-style shrine)


Kyūden zushi (palace-style shrine),
late 1800s–early 1900s,
wood, lacquer, gold, paint,

Egypt, Coptic textile fragment


Coptic textile fragment,
date unknown,

Richard Emile Miller, La Toilette


Richard Emile Miller,
La Toilette,
circa 1910,
oil on canvas,

China, snuff bottle with stopper


snuff bottle with stopper,
Jiaquin period (1975–1820),
porcelain, relief carving,

Italy, presepio nativity scene


presepio nativity scene,
circa 1770,
wood, terracotta, paint, wire, string, cloth,

Korea, Guo Ziyi‘s Enjoyment-of-Life Banquet Screen


Guo Ziyi‘s Enjoyment-of-Life Banquet Screen,
early 1800s,
eight-panel screen, ink and color on silk,


Top: Children working with textiles. Below: Curator discussing object

  1. Walk-ins Welcome: Every Friday, visitors can request to view works of art in the Spencer’s Stephen H. Goddard Study Center, no appointments necessary.
  2. Gallery Talks: Spencer curators, international artists and scholars, and KU faculty and students regularly deliver talks in the Spencer’s galleries on a range of topics.
  3. Art Cart: The Art Cart is a drop-in activity station where children and grown-ups enjoy hands-on art projects together taking inspiration from original works of art.
  4. Slow Art Sundays: Slow Art Sundays focus on one great work of art for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff.
  5. Senior Sessions: Designed for senior citizens, these informal gallery talks explore specific topics or questions and are led by Museum staff, KU faculty, and community members.
  6. Guided Tours: The Museum’s staff and docents lead gallery tours for K–12 and University classes from across Kansas and Missouri and other groups from all over.
  7. Film Screenings: The Spencer regularly offers free film screenings in the Museum’s auditorium or at partner venues.
  8. Backyard Bash: Each fall, the Spencer provides an afternoon of educational and entertaining art and science experiences in Marvin Grove, the park-like space behind the Museum.
  9. Career Close-Ups: Each year, the Spencer gathers regional museum professionals to speak about their diverse career paths and encourage students from all fields of study to pursue museum careers.
  10. Student Juried Art Show: Every spring, the Spencer Student Advisory Board organizes a juried exhibition of works by KU students around a central theme.


Education & Interpretation

Top: Spencer staff working in elementary school. Below: University class discussing object

  1. KU Common Work of ArtEach year, the Spencer Museum selects a Common Work of Art in conjunction with the KU Common Book program; together, these initiatives stimulate shared learning experiences for first-year KU students.
  2. Classroom Collection: Featuring more than 300 works of art, the Classroom Collection circulates to K–12 and university classes to enrich instruction.
  3. Collection Cards: These collectible trading cards feature works of art from the Spencer Museum’s collection and are used in educational programs at the Museum and beyond.
  4. Educator Workshops: The Spencer regularly offers instructional workshops for regional K–12 teachers and recently expanded the program to reach teachers from across the United States during summer 2017.
  5. 3rd-grade Program: Each school-year, all 3rd-grade students in USD 497 participate in “Art Museum Stories,” which introduces them to museums and talking about art.
  6. 4th-grade Program: Through two classroom presentations and a guided tour of the Spencer Museum, all 4th-grade students in USD 497 learn about art of Kansas and the region.
  7. 5th-grade Program: 5th-grade students learn about intersections of STEM fields and art in a detective-themed program that takes place in local classrooms and the Museum’s galleries.
  8. Hidden in the Details: This self-guided gallery tour encourages visitors to find works of art using visual and written clues.
  9. Bulldog Art Tours: With guidance from Spencer educators, 8th-grade students at Southwest Middle School in Lawrence create short audio descriptions of works of art in the Spencer’s collection every year.
  10. Spencer Student Advisory BoardThis group collaborates with Museum staff to plan initiatives and events that engage university students.

Spencer At Large

Top: Family at Spencer At Large event. Below: Artist Dave Loewenstein in front of Pollinators mural

  1. Pollinators Mural: The Museum recently commissioned artist Dave Loewenstein to reimagine the community Pollinators mural in downtown Lawrence.
  2. Rocket Grants: The Spencer Museum partners with Charlotte Street Foundation in Kansas City on Rocket Grants, a program supporting innovative, artist-driven projects outside of established arts venues with funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
  3. Campus Sculptures: Many diverse sculptures on the University of Kansas Lawrence campus are part of the Spencer Museum’s permanent collection.
  4. Wall Drawing 519: Part of the Museum’s permanent collection, the large-scale Wall Drawing 519 by Sol LeWitt is prominently installed at the KU School of Business in Capitol Federal Hall.
  5. Collection Loans: The Spencer Museum regularly loans works from its collection to other institutions across the United States and around the world for special exhibitions.
  6. Lawrence Public Library: We frequently offer hands-on art activities at the Lawrence Public Library, connecting visual art our collection with the fabulous programming the Library does.
  7. Watkins Community Museum: The Watkins Museum stewards a selection of objects in our collection from Mexico and displays them annually for Día de los Muertos.
  8. Newsletter: We distribute news about our collection, exhibitions, programming and more through our bi-annual newsletter, which is mailed to all donors and available digitally on our website.
  9. Director’s Circle Events: Members of our Director’s Circle explore regional arts and culture locations at special events, including visits to artist studios, museums and galleries, architecture firms, and more.
  10. Art Across KU: Our Director Saralyn Reece Hardy represents the Museum on multiple interdisciplinary committees that select artwork featured in KU buildings across Kansas.


Coming week of September 25th.