Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas


  • Alumni Gifts to the University of Kansas Museum of Art
  • 06-May-1973 - 03-Jun-1973
  • University of Kansas Museum of Art, Lawrence, Kansas

In 1928, Mrs. William Bridges Thayer gave her splendid collection to the University of Kansas, a gift which marked the beginning of the Museum of Art. Although Mrs. Thayer was not an alumna of the university, her generous gift established a precedent for private benefaction by which the collection has grown and developed for nearly half a century. Today the University of Kansas Museum of Art enjoys a pre-eminent position among American university collections, which would not have been possible without the continuing support and generosity of alumni and friends.

Although acknowledgement of alumni participation in the growth of this collection has often been made, this exhibition provides the first opportunity to review and evaluate the alumni's vital role and truly remarkable contributions. It is especially fitting that such an exhibition should be held during the Commencement season, when alumni contacts with their university are renewed. This show, which for reasons of space can include but a fraction of the total alumni gifts, demonstrates the diversity and richness of the collection. Included in the show are many of the museum's masterpieces which will be familiar to most visitors; also represented are other artworks which for reasons of space and fragility cannot be displayed permanently but which contribute greatly to the excellence of the collection.