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Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art

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Tues Wed Fri Sat 10 - 5
Thurs 10 - 8 
Sun 12 - 5 

Closed Mon & holidays

Free admission
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Office hours

Mon-Fri: 8 - 5

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

785-532-7718
beachart@ksu.edu

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Future Exhibitions

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.  

Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection

September 10 - December 18, 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 Indian wars, 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.

New Permanent Collection Installation

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

October 27, 5:30 p.m., 20th Anniversary Student Night at the Museum

Elizabeth “Grandma” Layton: You Gotta Have Art

October 11, 2016—January 8, 2017

The Beach Museum of Art’s twentieth anniversary theme, “You Gotta Have Art,” was inspired by the words embroidered 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. She demonstrated the power of art in forging personal connections and developing understanding and empathy. In the comment book from her 1992 exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, one visitor wrote: “I am going through a hard time right now and it takes some effort to remember that it’s all a part of life. Your drawings… remind me that other people feel pain and ecstasy, rage and glory. Thank you for celebrating.”   

Layton is now represented in the collections of more than one hundred and fifty art institutions in the United States, including the  Smithsonian American Art Museum. She has been the subject of features in Life, People, and on National Public Radio. Lambert facilitated the entry of several Layton drawings into the Beach Museum of Art collection.

Mapping the Early Career of John Steuart Curry

January 17-May 14, 2017

During the late 1920s artist John Steuart Curry (1897-1946) gained national attention for his portrayals of Kansas. At the height of his career, during the 1930s, he would become associated with prominent Regionalists Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri and Grant Wood of Iowa.

Much less is known about Curry's early years as an artist. An exploration of his career beginnings provides a deeper understanding of the conceptual and formal underpinnings of his later success. This exhibition explores Curry as a student and early professional through more than thirty drawings, paintings, and magazine illustrations. A major mural on loan from the Burr Living Trust of Lewisberry, Pennsylvania, will be a centerpiece of the installation, which will present never-before-viewed objects from the museum's collection, numbering over 900 Curry works.  

The exhibition is organized by Curator Liz Seaton and members of a spring 2016 seminar, comprised of students from K-State and University of Missouri-Kansas City.