Special Exhibits for 2015:

1st Floor – Windows on Collections

Special exhibit located at the Museum’s Main Street Entrance through August 2015.

“MEMBERS ONLY” –  Embroidered Club and Affiliation Wear

Embroidery, the art of working raised designs in threads upon any fabric with a needle, has been in use for thousands of years. Within the last century it has increasingly involved words in addition to ornamentation to engage a more literate audience. Embroidered marks and logos would often communicate a special interest or skill of the wearer, as seen in the locally produced shirts and jacket on exhibit.

Included in exhibit:

Man’s black short sleeved Western-style KFDI shirt, worn by “Willie Wheelchair” of KFDI Radio, 1960s. Man’s black short sleeved Wichita Metro Bowling Club shirt worn by Clifford Jones, late 1950s – early 1960s. Man’s black short sleeved Shocker Lounge bowling shirt, worn by Clifford Jones, late 1950s-early 1960s. Man’s long sleeved Western-style Wichita Round-Up Club shirt, worn by Willie Alford, President of the Wichita Round-Up Club, 1970s-1980s. Woman’s navy blue Stardust Dance Club jacket, worn by Virginia Fry, early 1970s.

2nd Floor –

The 75th Anniversary Exhibit

This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the Museum. With a mission to collect, preserve and educate through the interpretation of a unique collection of artifacts representing our local history, Museum staff has generated an endless variety of exhibits through the years. Museums tell stories through artifacts – material culture bearing tangible evidence of the past. The Museum has pulled out the stops for this exhibit; instead of using artifacts as a means to tell a story, this exhibit focuses on the artifacts themselves. Here you learn the history of the Historical Museum and enjoy an impressive range of seldom-seen artifacts from the Museum’s permanent collection. You will find these exhibited throughout the Museum, on all four floors.

In departure from customary exhibits, the Museum challenges visitors to identify artifacts. What are they and why are they in the Museum’s collection? Imagine the stories they might tell about local history. Have fun and submit your conclusions to the Museum by mail or by email to wschm@wichitahistory.org for recognition and prizes to be presented in September this year when the Museum publishes outcomes and reveals the actual stories behind the artifacts.

3rd Floor –

Special Art Exhibit: George Bellis

George F. Bellis (1865 – 1956) worked from Wichita as an artist for many years until his death in 1956. His introduction to Wichita at the turn of the century was through an assignment to create stage sets for use at the Toler Auditorium.

He worked in a multitude of mediums for a wide range of clients internationally. His work included theatrical scenery, silent movie sets, store windows, circus wagons, mid-way banners, mechanized 3-dimensional figures known as animatrons, as well as production of decorative framed paintings and religious art works.

Bellis’ career began in New York City at the age of 12 when he was recruited as an apprentice at a printing company for four hours each day after his interest and ability in drawing was recognized. By the age of 16 he was fully employed as a lithographer, producing commercial illustrations prior to the use of photographs.

To read more on George Bellis who is best known today for his circus and carnival banners for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circuses, click here.

Showing in the Lois Kay Walls Gallery March 27, 2015 through March 20, 2016.

 The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum is open Tuesday – Friday from 11am to 4pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 1-5pm. Admission is $5.00 for adults and $2 for children 6-12. Children under 6 and Museum members are admitted free of charge.

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