Highlights of the Spencer Museum of Art

Spencer Museum of Art

The Spencer Museum of Art, located on the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence, houses an internationally known collection that is deep and diverse, currently numbering more than 40,000 artworks and artifacts in all media.

Highlights of the Spencer Museum of Art
Drawn from the Spencer Museum of Art’s permanent collection, this exhibition highlights works of artistic and cultural significance.  Just as the Museum serves as a catalyst for interdisciplinary learning, the selected objects illuminate and connect diverse subjects, including regional and world history, medicine and science, religious studies, and art history. These artworks form a collection that spans the cultural, geographical, and chronological history of the world, with strengths in European and American painting, sculpture, and prints; Japanese Edo-period painting and prints; and global indigenous material culture. 

This Buddha is associated with healing and medicine. When the Chinese monk Yijing (635–713) translated the Sanskrit scripture Bhaisajyaguru Sutra, worship of the Medicine Buddha expanded in China.

This print is from a series titled “Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji.” Here Mt. Fuji is depicted in the beginning of summer, just after the south winds have begun to blow and clear away the rainy season.

Giorgio Vasari was a successful artist, architect, and gifted author of the 16th century. This painting depticts Christ carrying the cross, a subject Vasari painted several times in his career.

Rossetti capturesa lonely, contemplative La Pia toying with her wedding ring while being kept in a castle in the swamps of Maremma, Italy. In the foreground, the sundial suggests the passage of time.

Curry describes the panel from which this was taken as "the fratricidal fury that first flamed in the plains of Kansas, the tragic prelude to the last bloody feud of English-speaking people."

Dürer’s classically proportioned Christian knight progresses steadfastly forward with moral rectitude, unflinchingly indifferent to the grotesque phantasms conjured up in a menacing landscape.

Floral designs provide inspiration for many quilts, yet few quilters actually drew from nature. However, this shows Malcolm’s careful observation of the sunflower’s leaves, stalks, and petals

In Paris, Sandzén discovered pointillist technique and divisionist color. Here he placed pigments on the canvas so that the color mixing is done by the eye of the viewer rather than on his palette.

The poetic title of this macabre sculpture can be translated as “Forever and ever!” or “Always! Never!” This enigmatic title invites a variety of interpretations on the transience of life.

This scene from contemporary life is proclaimed as Stieglitz’s first Modernist photograph—a work that stands in stark contrast to his previous painterly photographic renderings of Symbolist subjects.

Shimomura is known for his print series Oriental Masterpieces and Oriental Masterprints, which combine traditional Japanese print styles, American cartoon imagery, and a contemporary sense of design.

Amitābha, whose name means “limitless light” in Sanskrit, is venerated in the Pure Land sect of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, which teaches mindfulness through the recitation of Amitābha’s name.

Figures on the basin are lifelike because they were cast from molds of real frogs, snakes, fish, and plants. In addition to his acclaim as a ceramicist, Palissy is recognized as an early naturalist.

One of the medium's first female practitioners, Anna Atkins learned the skills of photography from William Henry Fox Talbot and Sir John Herschel, two of its inventors.

Lisa Grossman documents her experience flying east to west over the Kaw River, conveying the bends and shapes of the river valley as witnessed during a sunset.

The Founding of Chicago articulates powerful ideas about the often uncelebrated role of African Americans in the building of American cities.

Cradleboards reflect a need for safety and mobility in the lives of Great Plains people. They were engineered to keep babies secure and comfortable, while allowing women freedom to work and travel.

The European form of this chair was likely introduced to the Chokwe by Portuguese traders in the 18th century. However, most of the images on it depict traditional Chokwe customs and beliefs.

The Inuit often used duck skins to make clothing and blankets, which were much warmer than seal skins and could be used when caribou or other thick furs were not available.

Sibande’s installations represent the artist’s impetus to transcend and interrogate constructions of domestic servitude and expectations of simplicity and submission based on race and gender.

Led by Marla Jackson, eight high school students from Lawrence, KS,researched Quantrill's Raid (1863) and sought a deeper understanding of the conflict on both sides of the Kansas/Missouri border.

Credits: Story

Organized and prepared by the Spencer Museum of Art, 2016.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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