Special Exhibits

1st Floor –

Windows on Collections – A frequently changing exhibit of artifacts from the Museum’s growing collection. Depending upon any given theme, this exhibit ranges from the topical to the bizarre.


Wichita Books & Wichita Authors

Featuring Books exemplifying Wichita and Sedgwick County’s fine literary history. The books in this exhibit are significant for their connection to Wichita, in subject, author and sometimes both. Most have been published commercially through major publishing houses but are currently out of print. Though out of print, most can be attained readily through used book sellers.

Gaylord Dold (1948 – ), The Wichita Mysteries (1996),

A collection of pulp classics based on fictional Wichita Detective, Mitch Roberts

Other books by Dold include:

Penny for an Old Guy

Last Man in Berlin

Albert Goldbarth (1948 – ), Saving Lives  (2001)


Other books by Goldbarth include:

To Be Read In Five Hundred Years

Kitchen Sink: New and Selected Poems 1972-2007

Author: Charles A. Goodrum (20th C.), I’ll Trade You an Elk (1967)

An account of the founding of the Wichita Zoo

Published articles for the Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker

Antonya Nelson (1961 – ), In the Land of Men (1992)


Other books by Nelson include:

Nobody’s Girl

Talking in Bed

Debra Seely (1959 – ), Grasslands (2002)

Historic Fiction by Wichita Author

Also by Seely:

The Last of the Roundup Boys

James R. Mead (1836-1910), Hunting and Trading on the Great Plains 1859-1875 (1986)

Memoir of Wichita’s Founding Father

Craig Miner (1946 – 2010), Wichita: the Early Years 1865-80 (1982)

History of Early Wichita

Other books by Miner include:

West of Wichita: Settling of the High Plains of Kansas

Kansas, History of the Sunflower State 1854-2000

Barry Paris (1948 – ), Louise Brooks (1989)

Biography of a Wichita born Silent Film Celebrity

Other books by Paris include:


Tony Curtis: The Autobiography

Irving Stone (1903-1989), The Passionate Journey (1949)

Biography of Wichita Artist, John Noble

Other books by Stone include:

The Agony and the Ecstasy: A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo

Lust for Life

Rea Woodman (1870-1951), Wichitana 1877-1897 (1948)

Memoir of Childhood in Early Wichita

Other books by Woodman include:


“Mr. McGugin Alone”

Blossom E. Randall, Fun for Chris (1956)

Children’s book emphasizing interracial interaction during a time of racial segregation

(Brown vs.B.O.E. – 1954, Dockum Sit-in – 1958, Civil Rights Act – 1964)


2nd Floor –

3rd Floor –

Treaty of the Little Arkansas

Thousands camped along the Little Arkansas River about five miles north of the present city of Wichita in October of 1865 for the negotiation and signing of the Treaty of the Little Arkansas. This treaty predated the Medicine Lodge Treaty by two years. Of the hundreds of treaties signed in U.S. history, none were ultimately honored.

Today the original treaty document resides at the National Archives in Washington D.C. The exhibit quality copy provided by the National Archives and exhibited here has been reproduced in its actual size. The original treaty was last exhibited in Kansas during the state’s centennial, celebrated in 1961.

The exhibit features a high quality reproduction of the Treaty from the National Archives, an artistic depiction of the Treaty signing recently commissioned by Fidelity Bank and a video of the treaty site today.


Western Lithograph: The Fine Art Printing Program – Lois Kay Walls Gallery

This exhibit is funded through the Lois Kay Walls Foundation

Wichita, Kansas emerged as an American art center during the 1920’s as citizens organized to make visual art part of everyday life. Central to this effort was commercial printer Walter Vincent and artist C. A. Seward, who established one of America’s first fine arts presses at the Western Lithograph Company.

This unique program offered artists across the country the service of having their drawings printed in multiples by master lithographers. Until this time such a service was only available through a very few printing establishments located in the eastern United States. Western Lithograph’s “Fine Arts Printing Program” would go on to produce approximately 7,000 lithographs from some 150 editions printed between 1923 and 1937.

Much of the art produced at Western Lithograph was that of the Prairie Print Makers group which included celebrated regionalist artists such as Birger Sandzen, C.A. Seward, Lloyd Foltz, Clarence Hotvedt, Kenneth Adams and John Ward Lockwood.

The exhibit borrows from several local collections including The Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas and the Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery, Lindsborg, Kansas.  Guest Curator Barbara Thompson, who is C.A. Seward’s granddaughter, has coordinated a series of current exhibits in Wichita celebrating these fine art prints. The exhibits can be seen at the Wichita Art Museum, Wichita State University Clayton Staples Gallery, and the Wichita Center for the Arts.

Furnishing the Atomic Era

The “Atomic Era” brought many changes to the lives of average Wichitans. The postwar economy brought higher middle class incomes, leisure time, disintegrating social boundaries, opportunities to travel, and a wider awareness of world cultures as well as unimaginable advances in technology. All of this was reflected in the furnishings of our home environments. The phenomenal changes since can be seen through a wide range of artifacts, both on loan and from the Museum’s permanent collection. Included in the exhibit are furniture designs by Laverne, Eames, and Haywood-Wakefield.

The beginning of the Atomic Age is marked by the development of the Atomic Bomb which brought World War II to an abrupt end in 1945. Since then technology has propelled us to a new era to which we are attempting to adapt. Wichita, known as the Air Capital and Center City USA, is uniquely representative of this era.

This exhibit runs through the end of the year and is sponsored in part through funding by the City of Wichita and Sedgwick County.


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