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Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art

Museum hours

Tues Wed Fri 10 - 5
Thurs 10 - 8 
Sat 11 - 4 

Closed Sun, Mon & holidays

Free admission
Free parking

Office hours

Mon-Fri: 8 - 5

Beach Museum of Art
Kansas State University
14th St & Anderson Ave
Manhattan, KS 66506



Current Exhibitions

Elizabeth "Grandma" Layton: You Gotta Have Art

October 11, 2016—January 7, 2017

The Beach Museum of Art's twentieth anniversary theme, "You Gotta Have Art," was inspired by the words printed on caps worn by Elizabeth Layton and her husband in many of her self-portraits. The caps were gifts from her friend Don Lambert, the Ottawa Herald reporter who discovered her work in 1977 and helped to establish Layton as an important American artist through his writing and curation of exhibitions. The succinct phrase encapsulates how art was a positive force in Elizabeth Layton's life. After an unstable marriage that ended in divorce, the death of a son, a lifelong battle with manic depression, and thirteen debilitating electroshock treatments, Layton took her first class in contour drawing and discovered how art could help her heal. Her drawings examined universal human experiences such as aging, death, social injustice, and love through the lens of her own life and body. 

You Gotta Have Art: Celebrating 20 Years
New Installation of the Permanent Collection

Opening October 2016

To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of its opening, the museum is unveiling a new look for the permanent collection galleries. Drawing on the twentieth anniversary celebration theme “You Gotta Have Art,” the galleries feature works from a range of periods, displayed together to highlight particular themes and stimulate dialogue. Expect to see gallery favorites by John Steuart Curry and Shirley Smith alongside works re-emerging from art storage after a long hiatus. Also on view are new acquisitions by significant contemporary Kansas artists, such as Roger Shimomura, Jane Booth, and Andrzej Zieliński, as well as promised gifts to the collection borrowed for this festive year.

Help us celebrate 20 years!

October 9, 2-6 p.m., 20th Anniversary Celebration and Open House

Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection

September 10 - December 17, 2016

The Becker Archive in Boston, Massachusetts, contains approximately 650 previously undocumented drawings by Joseph Becker and his colleagues, nineteenth-century artists who worked as artist-reporters for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. They observed, drew, and sent back for publication images of the Civil War, the construction of the railroads, the Chicago fire, and other important events of nineteenth-century American history. There has been no major exhibition or scholarly survey featuring Civil War drawings since the 1961 centennial, and at that time the Becker Collection had not yet come to light.

Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection offers the first opportunity for scholars and enthusiasts to see selections from this important and previously unknown collection, and to appreciate these national treasures as artworks. Part of this traveling exhibition will be displayed at the U.S. Cavalry Museum at Fort Riley through a partnership that will also bring Civil War-related artifacts from the Cavalry Museum to the galleries of the Beach Museum of Art.  Later interpretations of the Civil War by John Steuart Curry from the Beach Museum of Art collection will also be featured.

Civil War Drawings from the Becker Collectionis organized by Curatorial Assistance Traveling Exhibitions. Drawings from the Becker Collection premiered at the McMullen Museum at Boston College in the exhibition First Hand: Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collectionwhich was organized by the McMullen Museum and underwritten by Boston College and Patrons of the McMullen Museum.

2016 Common Work of Art

August 23, 2016 - May 14, 2017

View Dendrochronological Data Sequences by Andrzej Zieliński, the 2016 Common Work of Art chosen to complement the K-States 2016 Common Book, Spare Parts by Joshua Davis.  

Stan Herd: Cairns on the Beach

Fall 2014 - May 2017

Inspired by the artist’s encounter with stacked rock sculptures in woods near Lake Perry, Cairns on the Beach highlights the natural beauty of our region’s geology and pays homage to the long history of built stone structures in Kansas. Herd, who is best known for his work as a crop artist—arranging rocks, dirt and plants into compositions best seen from above—acted as lead artist on this collaboratively designed project. Throughout the fall 2014 semester, Herd will work with students from the K-State departments of Art and Landscape Architecture and Regional and Community Planning to design and install this temporary outdoor installation.

Art for Every Home: Associated American Artists

Traveling Exhibition

Art for Every Home: Associated American Artists is organized  by the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, Kansas State University.  The exhibition of 136 objects from over 25 museums and private collections is co-curated by Beach Museum of Art Curator, Elizabeth Seaton and travels to the Grey Art Gallery, New York University, April 19-July 9, 2016; and the Syracuse University Art Galleries, New York, January 12 – March 26, 2017.