The Kentucky Museum – Current Exhibits
Local artist Alice Gatewood Waddell and WKU professor and artist Mike Nichols collaborated on a buon fresco mural commemorating Bowling Green’s Jonesville community. Supported by a grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, the mural provided internships for three WKU students – Aisha Salifu, Cecilia Morris, and Riley O’Loane – who worked alongside Waddell and Nichols to make the vision come to life.
February 2020 - May 1, 2023
Gazing Deeply showcases how WKU’s backyard—the unique landscape of Mammoth Cave—is being studied, interpreted, and inspiring action on environmental change. Coinciding with the UNESCO Conservation of Fragile Karst Resources: A Workshop on Sustainability and Community and Earth Day’s 50th anniversary in 2020, this exhibition is a collaborative effort between arts and science faculty and students that highlights one of the most well-known and vital natural landscapes in the world.
October 23, 2021 - June 1, 2023
History suggests that as “big business” started to take hold in the late 1800s, women became more involved in business and working outside the home. However, few women owned companies. Those that did were in industries centered on women, such as home goods, apparel, or personal care.
Today, women own only 40% of businesses in the U.S., making Carrie Burnam Taylor’s business of the early 20th century that much more impressive. Curated with Dr. Carrie Cox, this exhibit will explore Taylor's life and work, displaying three of her dresses, two coats, two bodices, and various undergarments recently conserved thanks to our Adopt-an-Artifact program.
August 2021 - December 1, 2023
Learn the history of the 1810 Felts Log House, including its construction by Revolutionary War veteran Archibald Felts, what family life was like in it, the move to WKU's campus, and restoration efforts by Andy Mills in 2021.
Sept. 29, 2021 - May 2022
Remembering Childhood explores how adults collect and play with toys. Curated by Folk Studies students, this exhibit looks at toys as ways of both remembering and continuing our childhoods well into adulthood. Do you recognize these toys? How did you play with them?
September 2020 - May 2022
In politics, the old adage “having a seat at the table” is often used to refer to those in positions of power, influence and policy making. This poster exhibit highlights a few of the women who have held political office and had “a seat at the table” in decision making for the Commonwealth.
September 2020 - May 2022
This exhibit traces the history of Kentucky women in politics and political activism, featuring artifacts from the Rather-Westerman Collection and the America United/Divided project.
View the virtual exhibit here.
through May 28, 2022
Using a time capsule approach to the stylistic attributes of the era, Honors students from Professor Shura Pollatsek's THEA 323 Period Styles in Design class (Fall 2020) give insight into the 1960s and Mid-Century Modernism. This small display includes several examples of clothing, furniture and artwork of the period.
through December 2021
Discover how the Kentucky Museum was created! Featuring a timeline and archival photos, this display between our Community and Student Research galleries explores how our home, the Kentucky Building, came to life.
Featuring the life and work of the Bowling Green native, this collection of artifacts includes an outstanding collection from the Bowling Green Area Convention and Visitors’ Bureau. Visitors will learn about Hines’ career as a writer on travel, dining and entertaining, as well as his transition to a "name brand" icon and pioneer in the world of packaged food.
Thirteen guns in two cases tell the story of how a hobby can make a person an authority. Dr. L. Y. Lancaster (1893-1980), best known as a professor of biological sciences and a mentor of pre-med students at Western Kentucky University for 37 years, collected and restored 19th flintlock and percussion lock long rifles. The earliest dated gun in the case is a flintlock from the late 1820s. For many Kentuckians, this case provides their first look at a double barrel shotgun.
Objects in this exhibition are all related to Kentucky in some way. Furniture is displayed in relation to time and style with silver, glass, ceramics, paintings and anthropological items, which were used to decorate homes at different periods in history.
Closed in preparation for our next exhibit. Check back soon!
through June 2023
This exhibit tells the stories of freshmen year from participants in a student success intiative, WKU Freshmen Guided Pathway (FGP). This cohort of first-time, full-time students who graduated from one of five high schools in Warren County represent the typical WKU freshman in terms of academic achievement prior to admission and their demographic makeup.
FGP assists students as they negotiate the often difficult affective and academic shifts between high school and college. Learn more about the program in this exhibit, presented by the Kelly M. Burch Institute for Transformative Practices in Higher Education, Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing, the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, the WKU Center for Literacy, and the Kentucky Museum.
Closed for the Season
The Kentucky Museum's log house is a permanent exhibit. Donated to the Kentucky Building in 1980, the house was built in Logan County around 1810. Until 1968, it was occupied by descendents of the original owner, Archibald Felts (1758-1825). The Felts House has been restored to an approximation of its earliest appearance. Visitors may tour inside the house during normal museum hours by asking at our front desk. Reopens on March 1, 2022.
Anel Lepić and Muhamed “Hamo” Bešlagic, two HAD Collective artists from Bosnia, carved murals in the Kentucky Museum courtyard. Letić and Bešlagić specialize in the wall cut technique to create their murals. The murals were unveiled Friday, March 2.