Mulvane Art Museum commerates 150 years of Washburn history

The Man Himself: A bust of Ichabod Washburn is on display, carved by Benjamin H. Kinney, a gravestone carver, in 1869.

Cynthia Rose

In celebration of Washburn’s 150 years of scholarly learning and the Mulvane Art Museum’90th birthday, the museum has a collection on exhibit called “Cabinet of Curiosities: 150 Years of Washburn History.”

It is modeled after the idea created in the 16th and 17th centuries when aristocrats in Europe collected artifacts and works of art and displayed them in rooms, calling them “cabinets of curiosities.”

“The exhibition is a real opportunity to find out some quirky things about Washburn history,” said curator Julie Myers. “We have everything from the ridiculous to the sublime.”

The exhibit displays artifacts from before and after the tornado that ravaged the campus on June 8, 1966, destroying most of the buildings, trees and other vegetation that made up what was once a lush park-like setting for the university.

The artifacts are from both Washburn and the Mulvane Art Museum. Most are from the university archives at Mabee library.

“It’s a wonderful glimpse into Washburn’s past,” said Jan Bychinsky Mulvane employee.  “Some things of special interest are the football items from the turn of the century.  You can see how much it has changed.”

Some of the unusual objects are a football helmet and a very heavy metal nose guard that belonged to Mike Millice. He wore them when he caught the first forward pass in football history.

Freshman students at Washburn were forced to wear beanies from around 1910 to the late 1950’s, with the exception of the war years. At times severe punishments were taken out for failure to wear the beanie.

“It’s interesting to see all these things from Washburn history,” said Jason Hannah, a junior art and English major.

The game baseball for the 500th win for coach Anson, who died earlier this year, is on display with other sports memorabilia.

There is a section allocated for Bradbury Thompson’s 1938 Ichabod logo. Thompson was a graduate of Washburn who was also a famous graphic designer.

“It’s great seeing so much pride for our school,” said Michaela Lazzo, a senior art major. “It’s great hearing people say “Once an Ichabod, always an Ichabod.”

Washburn celebrates its 150th birthday in 2015. What will the next 150 bring?