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The Kentucky Museum – Current Exhibits


First Floor

Jonesville mural design
Jonesville Mural
Lobby

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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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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Styles &thegistofit
Styles &thegistofit
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.

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Felts Log House
Finding Felts
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. 

US 82nd Airborne Division Major Daniel McIlvoy "Doc" Elite Force WWII D-Day The Way We Were 60th Anniversary of D-Day Limited Edition action figure in original box. 12" figure.
Remembering Childhood
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?

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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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.

 

Title image
Welcome to the 60s
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.

Gabrielle Robertson
Flashback: 1939
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.

Duncan Hines exhibit
Recommended by Duncan Hines
Ongoing

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

Lancaster Rifles case
L. Y. Lancaster Gun Collection
Ongoing

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.

 

Third Floor

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

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

Quilt Gallery
Closed

Closed in preparation for our next exhibit. Check back soon!

facing the freshmen year
Facing the Freshmen Year: Essential Conversations
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.

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Outside

Felts Log House
Felts Log House
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.

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Museum Courtyard exhibit
HAD Artist Collective Murals
Ongoing 

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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 Last Modified 1/12/22