Special Exhibits for 2015:
1st Floor – Windows on Collections
Special exhibit located at the Museum’s Main Street Entrance through May 2015.
“Mod Rags from Teensville”
Teenage Style of the 1960’s
The years following World War II gave rise to a new level of affluence for American youth. With unprecedented buying power teenagers began creating their own music, clothing, and culture. Local businesses quickly formed to see that these needs were met. Sedgwick County youth were not lagging behind national trends. As members of the rock and roll band The Illusions claimed in 1967: “the East Coast and the West Coast have nothing on us – we’re the Sub Coast.”
This exhibit features men’s and women’s clothing and accessories from Wichita boutiques Cricket Alley, Sgt. Pepper’s Parlor, and Yankee Peddler, and stage clothing worn by Mike Daniel of the local rock and roll band The Three Profits (circa 1965), Ron Starkel of the local rock and roll band The Illusions (circa 1968) and Clif Major of the local rock and roll band The Outcasts (circa 1966).
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.