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Picture this: The land of Kansas focus of Beach Museum of Art's new exhibition, 'Picturing Kansas'

Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018

"Hay Bales North of Council Grove"

"Hay Bales North of Council Grove" is the title of this 2003 oil on panel by artist Diana Werts on display in the Beach Museum of Art's new exhibition, "Picturing Kansas." The 4 5/8- by 12 3/4-inch work was a gift to the museum from the estate of Richard D. Olson. | Download this photo.


MANHATTAN — From bucolic farms to the architecture of Kansas' agricultural industry, the latest exhibition at Kansas State University's Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art features more than 100 years of works by Kansas artists reflecting a sense of place.

"Picturing Kansas" runs Oct. 5 through June 1, 2019, in the museum's Donna Lindsay Vanier Gallery. The exhibition includes works of both famous and lesser-known artists, with several paintings that have not previously been on view in the galleries.

"With a focus on the land, these works allow the visitor to think about sense of place," said Kathrine Schlageck, curator of this exhibition and the Beach Museum of Art's associate curator of education. "In addition, viewers are encouraged to think about the impact settlement had on the prairie and how farming and ranching changed the landscape. In these ways, 'Picturing Kansas' continues the museum's ongoing dialogue with K-State's Prairie Studies Initiative."

The exhibition also has ties to the Beach Museum of Art's 2018-2019 theme, "The Silk Road Through Kansas." The landscape was considered the highest genre in Chinese painting. This influence was brought to Europe by 17-century traders and Jesuit missionaries at a time when history and religious scenes and portraitures were the top-ranked genres. Landscape painting steadily grew in prestige in Europe and America, becoming especially strong in America in the late-19th and early-20th centuries.

Artists represented in "Picturing Kansas" include painter Thomas Johnston; iconic Kansas artists Birger Sandzen, John Steuart Curry and William Dickerson; and contemporary Kansas artists such as Stan Herd, Diana Werts, Kim Casebeer and Lisa Grossman.

Major support for this exhibition is provided by Dan and Beth Bird, with additional sponsorship by Chuck and Sandy Bussing.

The "Picturing Kansas" exhibition will be a cornerstone for the Beach Museum of Art's popular "Picturing Kansas" School Tour program, which will be available Oct. 5 through June 1, 2019. This program, for grades kindergarten through sixth, integrates art, history, environmental and agricultural science, and language arts. Activities will develop 21st-century skills of critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration.  Weather permitting, students will visit The Meadow outside the museum for additional inspiration. All tours include an art-making project. An additional tour component at the Riley County Historical Museum, with a focus on farming and ranching, is available. Contact Schlageck at klwalk@k-state.edu for more information on taking part in the tour.

Also related to the will be the Tallgrass Artist Residency Symposium from 1-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at the museum.

The Beach Museum of Art, at 14th Street and Anderson Avenue, is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free and free parking is available adjacent to the museum.


Katherine Schlageck


Beach Museum of Art


Download the following photo.

"Burning Field"

Shirley Smith's "Burning Field" is a 56- by 56-inch oil on canvas from 1994. The painting, part of the Beach Museum of Art's "Picturing Kansas" exhibition, was a gift from the artist's estate.