Mulvane Art Museum hosts Gala to celebrate 90 years

Walking with spirit: To help celebrate its 90 year anniversary, the Mulvane Art Museum has a display called “A Walking Guide for the Spirit of the Walk,” which features many different artistic walking canes.

The Mulvane Art Museum is celebrating its 90th year with a Gala event on October 10, entitled “Imagine Art for a Lifetime.”  The celebration is a part of Washburn University’s 150th Anniversary and will serve food and wine to guests. There will also be live music. Tickets are $90 for an individual ticket. There will be a special champagne reception.

Sponsorship opportunities are available at three different levels. To purchase, go to:, or call (785) 670-1816. Dinner for eight with Dr. and Mrs. Farley will be held at the museum. The date for this experience is yet to be decided.

The Gala will hold a silent auction and a live auction at 7 p.m. from exhibits of art on display now in the museum, including one by alumni artist Daniel W. Coburn entitled “Girl with Muskie in canvas.” Coburn is from the Washburn class of 1978.

One of the exhibits currently at Mulvane is a show of artwork by Washburn alumni from recent students to alumni going all the way back to a graduate from 1955. “’There is someone represented from every past decade here on display,” said Julie Myers, Museum curator.  “Many of them are well known artists in their own right.”

“All the artwork is by people who graduated from here,” said Jan Bychinsky a staff member of the museum. “It’s a great show.”

A painting by Topeka artist Barbara Waterman Peters, class of 1973, is called “MWS Animalia (Homage),” depicting women posing, some of the women in the painting also have artwork displayed in the exhibit, such as Laura Englehart, class of 2007, who has an oil painting on display called “The Golden Now.”  The alumni contributions vary from painting to photography, to a booklet and sculptures. It is an eclectic mix of artwork.

“An unusual photograph titled ‘Trinity Madonna’ by KU teacher Dan Coburn is worth a look,” said Bychinsky.  “He is from the class of 2009 and now teaches photography.”

The exhibit will be on display from August 22 through October 18. A reception featuring this artwork will be held on September 5, from 5:30-7:30p.m.

Another exhibit currently showing is titled “A Walking Guide for Old Walks and New.” Artworks in this exhibit date back to a 1709 painting by Italian artist Giovanni Canaletto and others.  Curator Julie Myers expressed how privileged the museum is to be able to show many of the older pieces. The artworks range from the 16th century to the latest piece from 1954 by Kansas artist Michael James Allen. It is a contrast between old world artwork and new.

An exhibit accompanying A Walking Guide for Old Walks and New segues neatly into “A Walking Guide for Spirit of the Walk,” with a variety of carved walking sticks ranging from the somewhat traditionally carved artwork for practical use to the very unusual and “blinged” out versions of canes that appear to be for show only.  There is something for everyone who likes unusual canes and for the art lover who wants to see some extraordinary crafting.

Hours for the Mulvane Museum of Art are: Tuesday 10a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday-Friday 10a.m.-5pm. and Saturday from 1p.m. – 4p.m.

For fall art classes at the museum visit for more information and to register.