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Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art

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


A Decade and a Year: Annual Major Acquisitions by the Friends of the Beach Museum of Art

January 16, 2007 – May 21, 2007

A Decade and a Year: Annual Major Acquisitions by the Friends of the Beach Museum of Art was on view in the Helm Gallery from January 16 to May 21, 2007. This exhibition recognized the significant contribution the Friends of the Beach Museum of Art (FOBMA) has made to the development of the permanent collection in the eleven years since the museum’s opening. It features the major acquisitions selected annually at the group’s spring reception and includes work by John Steuart Curry, Nicholas Kripal, Herschel Logan, Doug Martin, Frank Olin Marvin, Gordon Moore, Larry Schwarm, Alan Shields, Robert Stackhouse, Judith Streeter, and Robert Sudlow.

In 1932 the Manhattan branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) initiated an art lecture series. John F. Helm, Jr., a professor of painting and drawing in K-State’s department of architecture and first curator of K-State’s art collection, presented most of the lectures, which were usually given in the Recreation Center in Anderson Hall. The Recreation Center was a large multipurpose room often used for K-State social events. The popularity of theAAUW-sponsored art lectures and a rising interest in the visual arts at K-State inspired Helm and Russell I. Thackrey, a professor in the department of industrial journalism and printing, to approach K-State President Francis D. Farrell about the possibility of organizing a campus group devoted to the promotion of the visual arts at K-State. In March 1934, following the conclusion of one of Helm’s lectures, K-State English professor Charles W. Matthews announced that an organization “to be known tentatively as the Friends of Art” would be formed “with the purpose of buying art objects and accepting donations for a Kansas State College collection.” With Matthews’s declaration, the primary mission of the Friends of Art (now FOBMA) was set into motion.

For over seven decades FOBMA has been responsible for the acquisition of many of the most significant works in the collection, helping establish the museum as the premier center for the study and appreciation of Kansas art. Since the museum’s opening in 1996, over seventy-percent of the works purchased for the museum’s permanent collection have been acquired with FOBMAfunds. In 1996 the group selected a large John Steuart Curry oil painting of 1935, Sunrise ( Sunrise over Kansas), to commemorate the museum’s opening. The following year FOBMAinaugurated a new practice by which to select its annual major acquisition. Every year the museum staff selects several works for the group’s consideration, which are placed on view in the galleries during the annual FOBMA spring reception. As they arrive for the reception, members are given a ballot with which to cast their vote for one of the objects or groups of objects selected for consideration. During the course of the event the ballots are tallied and the winning selection is announced before the evening’s end.

This exhibition is sponsored by the Friends of the Beach Museum of Art Business Partners: Art Craft Printers & Design; BG Consultants; Bluestem Bistro; Bruce McMillan AIA Architects P.A.; Capers Café and Bakery; Cereal Food Processors; Commerce Bank; Farrar Corporation; Grand Mere Development; Intrust Bank; Jacobson & Jacobson CHTD; Kansas Farm Bureau; Limbocker Enterprises; Meadowlark Hills Retirement Community; Mercy Regional Health Center; Realty Executive – Weis Real Estate; Strecker-Nelson Gallery; Sunny 102.5 FM; The Trust Company of Manhattan; UMB Bank n.a.; Varney’s Bookstore; Weary Davis, L.C. David P. Troup.