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The Kentucky Museum – Current Exhibits

 Exhibits Calendar     Online Exhibits     Student Exhibits     Upcoming Exhibits     Past Exhibits     Around Campus 

Whitework no 2857
Whitework: Women Stitching Identity
June 2 - November 20, 2021

This exhibit explores the significance of early white embellished textiles that have been largely ignored, undervalued, and misinterpreted. It also explores how whitework holds a “special place” within the cultural geography of textile making, connecting regional textile making with broader narratives of American women’s lives, political participation, and self-expression of identity during the formative years of the new United States. Curated by Laurel McKay Horton, in partnership with Dr. Margaret Ordonez and Dr. Kate Brown.

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Title image
Welcome to the 60s
April 19 - September 15, 2021

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.

KWR cover image
Kentucky Women Rising
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.

a seat at the table exhibit graphic
A Seat at the Table
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.

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ZSEIFS title card
ZSEIFS Retrospective
September 2019 - December 2021

In honor of International Year Of...Revisited 2019-20, the Kentucky Museum will host a retrospective exhibit about the impact of the Zuheir Sofia Endowed International Faculty Seminar (ZSEIFS) at WKU. Looking at the past 5 years of the program, this exhibit will explore the experiences of faculty in Ecuador, South Africa, South Korea, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Cuba and how their experiences have shaped teaching, research, and service at WKU.

Gazing Deeply title card
Gazing Deeply: The Art and Science of Mammoth Cave
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. 

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facing the freshmen year
Facing the Freshmen Year: Essential Conversations
Through November 30, 2022

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.

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Duncan Hines exhibit
Recommended by Duncan Hines

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.

Photo Gallery


Jonesville mural design
Jonesville Mural

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.

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View of the Snell-Franklin Gallery
Snell-Franklin Decorative Arts Gallery

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.

Photo Gallery

Gabrielle Robertson
Flashback: 1939

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.


Lancaster Rifles case
L. Y. Lancaster Gun Collection

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.

Museum Courtyard exhibit
HAD Artist Collective Murals

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.

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Felts Log House
Felts Log House

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. 

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 Last Modified 8/4/21