Mulvane Art Museum opens

Emily Charles

In the first major expansion of its facility in over 80 years, the Mulvane Art Museum hosted its grand re-opening 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16. With its two floors of exhibit area, five newly renovated galleries, 3,000 objects in its permanent collection and an ArtLab education facility, the museum is close to becoming Topeka’s principal art museum.

Gordon Fuglie, director and chief curator of the Mulvane, came to Topeka from Los Angeles in March. Fuglie believes that the museum itself is the best feature.

“For those who seek us out, they will see we have a higher caliber of collections than the exhibitions before our re-opening,” said Fuglie.

The 5,000 square feet of space on the two floors of the museum is jam-packed with art: paintings, sculpture graphics, drawings, photography, decorative arts and new media all scream to be seen. On the first floor, selections from the Hallmark Photographic Collection at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art are displayed, along with photography from the Mulvane Art Museum. Illustrated books by the school children of Topeka, recent notable acquisitions at the Mulvane Art Museum and Alberto Garcia M.’s Images of Mexico can all be found on the second floor of the museum.

Along with renovations done to its art collections, the Mulvane uses its remodeled studios and classrooms on the lower level to accommodate for the ArtLab of the Mulvane Art Education Department. Art classes, workshops, special events and guided tours in the ArtLab seek to develop understanding and critical engagement with works of art, and it offers a range of stimulating, creative learning opportunities for all ages.

Fuglie encourages Washburn students to visit the museum and see for themselves the new renovations and expansion of its facility.

“Students have to extend the initiative to come and see that we are a place for people to be enlightened and see beautiful and challenging works of depth,” said Fuglie.

The Mulvane Art Museum is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free to the public.