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

Art Cart: Painted Fans
Saturday, January 20 | 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Sam and Connie Perkins Central Court, 317
1301 Mississippi St.
The Art Cart is a drop-in activity station where children and grown-ups enjoy hands-on art projects together, taking inspiration from original works of art. After traveling the world, Sallie Casey Thayer donated her collection of objects to KU to form what is now the Spencer Museum of Art. Learn about Mrs. Thayer and create a painted folding fan to start your own collection.

Slow Art Sunday: Steel Wool Peignoir
Sunday, January 21 | 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Kemper Family Foundations Balcony, 408
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 January, get to know Steel Wool Peignoir by Mimi Smith.

Science on Tap: The Cambrian: More than just Trilobites
Wednesday, January 24 | 7:30 p.m.
Free State Brewing Co., 636 Massachusetts St.
The Cambrian is a time in Earth’s history when many modern animal relatives make their first appearance. It is also a time when many bizarre animals without modern relatives appear in the fossil record. At this Science on Tap, Dr. Julien Kimmig will talk about the diversity of animals during this amazing period and what it can teach us about the future of life on earth. 

Career Close-ups: Developing a Career in the Museum World
Friday, January 26 | 2 p.m.-4 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Auditorium 309
1301 Mississippi St.
Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to explore how any major can lead to a career in a cultural organization. A panel of museum professionals will share their experiences, followed by a networking reception and behind-the-scenes tours of KU’s museums. This year’s panelists include: Dina Bennett (Mulvane Art Museum, Washburn University), Glenn North (Black Archives of Mid-America), and Adrianne Russell (Cabinet of Curiosities). Advance registration is required at www.spencerart.ku.edu/career-closeups. Please register by January 24. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/476618689399321/
Sponsored by the Spencer Museum of Art, KU Natural History Museum, University Career Center, and the Museum Studies Program.

Final Friday: Community and Culture Closing Celebration
Friday, January 26 | 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St.
The Watkins, in partnership with the Max Kade Center and the Lawrence Opera Theatre, present an evening of 19th-century German-American music and cuisine.

Discovery Day: Celebrating Kansas
Sunday, January 28 | 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
KU Natural History Museum, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd.
In honor of Kansas Day, join us for hands-on activities that are all about Kansas wildlife, plants and fossils. 

Kenneth A. Spencer Lecture: An Evening with Eve L. Ewing: Poetry in Context
Wednesday, January 31 | 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St.
Eve L. Ewing is a sociologist, poet, essayist, artist, and educator whose research focuses on racism, social inequality, urban policy, and the impact of these forces on American public schools and the lives of young people. Dr. Ewing earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University and is recognized as a leader and social influencer, especially in conversations involving academia, writing, black women, and the intersection of politics and popular culture. Sponsored by The Commons.

University in the Art Museum for Graduate Students
Thursday, February 1 | 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, 1301 Mississippi St.
University in the Art Museum introduces graduate students to opportunities for object-based teaching, learning, and research through collaborative partnerships with the Spencer Museum of Art. This workshop includes discussions led by graduate students in the departments of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Geography; and Atmospheric Science. Advance registration is required by Monday, January 29. Register online at https://spencerart.ku.edu/uam.

Extraordinary Animals: Awesome Adaptations
Sunday, February 4 | 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
KU Natural History Museum, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd.
At this new monthly animal event, parents and children are invited to learn about animals of Kansas. Museum Animal Specialist Ashley Welton will offer presentations about animal adaptations using touchable specimens from the museums collections at 1:15, 1:45 and 2:15 pm. 

FeBREWary at the Watkins
Thursday, February 15 | 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St.
The Watkins, in partnership with Lawrence Beer Co., presents an evening of beer, food, and knowledge! Enjoy beer and a fascinating talk on brewing provided by Lawrence Beer Co., plus food from local restaurants and an informal museum tour. Tickets are $15 for DCHS members, $20 for non-members. You may sign up online or contact the museum at 785-841-4109. We recommend buying in advance. Ages 21 and over only, please. More information and registration.

Winter Table: An Evening of Herpetology
Wednesday, February 28 | 6:30 p.m.
KU Natural History Museum, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd.
A celebration of more than 100 years of KU herpetology research programs and the careers of Linda Trueb and Bill Duellman. Explore the Natural History Museum's reptile and amphibian collections and enjoy appetizers and drinks. Dine in the Panorama Gallery with KU herpetology scientists and students conducting reptile and amphibian research across the globe. 

6:30 pm: appetizers, drinks and science salon
7:00 pm: dinner and program
$50 per person 

Reserve your space now at the 2018 Winter Table by ordering tickets online. Tickets are $50 per person. You may also call 785-864-4450 to purchase by phone or you may purchase tickets at the museum lobby during business hours. Questions? Contact biodiversity@ku.edu or 785-864-4450.

Home to 50+ departments, centers, and programs, the School of the Arts, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration
KU offers courses in 40 languages
No. 1 ranking in city management and urban policy —U.S. News and World Report
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times