Exhibit Design Course

In MUSE 703 Exhibit Design students actually design and create their own exhibits in one of several surrounding museums in Lawrence.

Progress Report: Education in Lawrence (2015)

Watkins Museum of History

Students: Abby Ehling, Beth Post, Sydney Pursel

Highlighting the perspectives of students and teachers, the exhibit explores public schools in Lawrence and changes to education systems that began in the early 1900s. The exhibit opening will be during Lawrence’s Final Friday event, on May 29, 2015.

All Creeping Things: A History of Herpetological Illustration (2015)

Kenneth Spencer Research Library

Students: Sydney Goldstein, Ryan Ridder, Megan Sims

The exhibit features illustrations of reptiles and amphibians from volumes in the Spencer Research Library’s collection. It was created in anticipation of the 2015 meeting of the
Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles being held at the University of Kansas in July. The exhibit opens on May 14, 2015, and will remain at the library until
August 2015.

The Evolution of Team Sports Along the Kaw: Together we are Stronger (2015)

Perry Pride Community Group in Perry, KS

Students: Rebecca Dickman, Katie Manley, Callie Miller, Erik Radowski

The exhibit is a companion exhibit to the Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America,” coming to the historic Perry Rural H.S. gymnasium from August 15- September 27, 2015. The focus is on school sports in Perry through the years.

Bringing the East to the West: Opening Lawrence to Life on the Rails (2014)

Watkins Museum of History

Students: Jennie Ashton, Ali Fisher, Wesley Gibson, Ellen Lynch

Discover how railroads helped transform Lawrence into the city it is today! Bringing entrepreneurs, immigrants, and visitors to Lawrence, railroads turned this once small frontier town into a diverse and prosperous city. The exhibit will remain open through Summer 2014.

Legacy of the White City: Revisiting the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 (2014)

Kenneth Spencer Research Library

Students: Rachel Gibson, Alissa Meehan, Meg Schwend, Sabrina Shafique

This exhibit focuses on the legacy of the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. Its themes include the changing attitudes toward women, African Americans, diversity, new technology, and architecture.

KU Connections: An Exhibit for KU's 150th Anniversary (2014)

Traveling Exhibit

Students: Tyler Habiger, Emily Grigone, Jilliene Jaeger, JoJo Palko

This is a theoretical exhibit created for KU's sesquicentennial anniversary. The traveling exhibit highlights KU alumni who have made an impact on their field, Kansas, and the global community. It is broken down into three themes: Place, Transformation, and Triumph. Each theme features four to five stories on either an innovation or a specific person.

River City Rebels (2013)

Kenneth Spencer Research Library

Students: Anna Paradis, Ge Yu, Karrah Whitlock, Bre Wasinger

"River City Rebels: Beat Poetry in Lawrence is a new exhibit prepared for the Spencer Research Library by Anna Paradis, Ge Yu, Karrah Whitlock, and myself. The exhibit tells the story of the River City Reunion - the 1987 gathering of Beat poets, artists, and musicians in Lawrence. It also highlights the works of William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and Diane Di Prima, three poets central to the Beat movement and the Reunion. Also featured in the exhibit is a listening lounge where visitors can hear Burroughs and Ginsberg reading selections of their work, and a poetry wall where visitors can create their own Beat masterpiece! We chose to create an exhibit on Beat poetry because of the many unique and colorful characters and subjects involved, as well as the surprising ties that some members of the movement had to Lawrence. The exhibit also serves to showcase some of the Spencer Research Library’s unique collections related to counterculture movements, and provides visitors a sample of what they can see if they visit the library’s reading room. Stop by over the summer to experience this great exhibit!"- Bre Wasinger

Occasional Mayhem (2013)

Watkins Museum of History

Students: Abby Anderson, Déla Breyne, Will Hickox, Lauren Taylor

"On May 31, 2013 the Watkins Community Museum of History will host an opening for Occasional Mayhem: Exploring Crime and Punishment in Lawrence. The exhibit was created this spring by a group of students from Muse 703, including Abby Anderson, Déla Breyne, Will Hickox, and myself. It examines ideas of what is criminal and how that changes over time as perceptions of what is “right” and “wrong” are questioned, debated, and re-defined. Featuring artifacts from the museum’s collection and loans from the Lawrence Police Department, the exhibit explores how crime and punishments for those crimes, in Douglas County and the United States, have changed from Lawrence’s founding in the mid-1800s to the present." -Lauren Taylor



Continued Dedication (2013)

Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics

Students: Kelsey Jistel, Landyn Harris, Ali Herdina, Brittany Thurman

"Kelsey Jistel, Landyn Harris, Ali Herdina, and I worked with staff at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics on West Campus to design a permanent exhibit, titled Continued Dedication, chronicling the past ten years of Senator Bob Dole’s life. The exhibit is in the main gallery space of the Dole in the last case on the right. Currently, a temporary exhibit is installed. Due to poor color quality from a local printer, the graphic panels in the exhibit will have to be reprinted through a different vendor. This means the current temporary exhibit will have to be taken down completely in order to install the new panels once they are ready. The layout of the exhibit will be identical to the temporary one in place right now, just with higher quality graphic panels. Once completed, Continued Dedication will take its place as the newest permanent exhibit at the Dole. Although this project had many obstacles, it was still a rewarding experience. All members of our group learned valuable skills that they will one day be able to apply to a future career as a museum professional." -Brittany Thurman


Treasures From The Stacks (2012)

Kenneth Spencer Research Library

8,940 sq. ft.
Budget ($300) $300

Students: Kasey Stertz, Kyle Malinowski, Alexis Fekete, Sarah Adams, Katie Sparks

Puzzles (2012)

Kenneth Spencer Research Library

700 sq. ft.
Budget ($500): $546.42

Students: Jami Roskamp, Gill Armstrong, Megan Perez, Melissa Doebele, Ashley Sharratt


Get Connected (2012)

Watkins Museum of History

408 sq. ft.
Budget ($1,000) $500

Students: Haley Trezise, Sabrina Owens, Michael Case, Ben Miller, Jim Wilson


Day After (2012)

Watkins Museum of History

429 sq. ft.
Budget ($1,000): $1,378

Students: Sarah Bell, Christine Inman, Allana Saenger, Mireia Moix

Prairie Dogs to Polar Bears: Kansas' 19th Century Arctic Explorer (2011)

Kenneth Spencer Research Library

Students: Dave Beals, Braden Conrad-Hiebner, Keanne Langford, Sarah Schroeder, Ruth Walters


Watkins: The Couple, the Building, the Legacy (2011)

Watkins Museum of History

Unutilized entrance landing
Budget ($500): $473 (Lighting not included in budget numbers)

Students: John Coats, Tracy Gilbertson, Murl Riedel, Kay Van Wyk

Kansas-Nebraska Act: Catalyst of Change (2010)

Freedom’s Frontier Installation Project

Students: Kay Van Wyk, John Coats, Ruth Walters




























Hidden Slaves, Hidden History: the Underground Railroad in Douglas County, Kansas (2009)

Watkins Museum of History

Students: Terry Wickstrum, Brittany Keegan, Rachel Harris












Read the latest MUSE News!

Find out what KU's Museum Studies Program and our alumni are up to:

September 2017 Newsletter
January 2017 Newsletter


Museum Events

FILM - Out of State Saturday, December 09 | 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak St. Kansas City, MO
In 2007, the state of Hawaii outsourced the care of roughly 2,000 male prisoners to a private, for-profit prison in Arizona. Exiled thousands of miles from their island home, a group of indigenous Hawaiian inmates have discovered their calling on the inside: teaching each other their native language and dances. As several of the men complete their sentences, the film follows them as they reintegrate in Hawaii. Out of State explores questions of cultural and religious identity; the overabundance of native Hawaiians and minorities in the prison system; the cycle of criminal behavior and its impact on the family; and prisoner entitlement. Join us for a moderated discussion led by Native-Hawaiian filmmaker and Out of State’s director, Ciara Lacy, and member of the Osage Nation, Jimmy Lee Beason II, M.S.W.

Meet the Experts: Christmas Crèches​
Sunday, December 10 | 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
The National Museum of Toys/Miniatures, 5235 Oak St. Kansas City, MO
Get to know the experts at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures through this monthly exploration of special topics. On December 10, enjoy special displays of Christmas crèches from the Bud and Jan Koupal Collection. Hear a talk about the history and tradition of holiday crèches, and stay afterward for cider and cookies. The program includes a lecture and museum visit. Included with museum admission.

TALK - Civic Leader and Art Collector: Sallie Casey Thayer and an Art Museum for KU
Thursday, December 14 | 10 a.m.-11 a.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 317 Sam and Connie Perkins Central Court, 1301 Mississippi St.
A hundred years ago, Kansas City philanthropist Sallie Casey Thayer donated her extensive collection to the KU, forming the basis for what is today the Spencer Museum of Art’s collection. Celka Straughn, Director of Academic Programs, discusses this eclectic collection, from Japanese prints and American paintings to sumptuous textiles, ancient artifacts, and even valentines. This series of informal gallery talks is designed for senior citizens but open to everyone.

TALK - Slow Art Sunday: Presepio 
Sunday, December 17 | 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 317 Sam and Connie Perkins Central Court, 1301 Mississippi St.
Slow down at the Spencer and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff. In December, get to know our 18th-century Italian Presepio.

TALK - Home for the Holidays 
Sunday, December 24 | 12 p.m.-1 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, 1301 Mississippi St.
Every year, Spencer Museum Director Saralyn Reece Hardy spends an afternoon in the galleries welcoming visitors and leading informal tours to celebrate the holiday season. This year's tour centers on the origins of the Museum and collecting and sharing art as a form of civic engagement. Tours begin at 12pm and 1pm. Join us and make this Spencer Museum tradition your own. These tours are presented in conjunction with the centennial celebration of the Museum’s collection.

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