Topeka, Kan. - “There Is a Woman in Every Color: Black Women in Art” is now open to the public at the Mulvane Art Museum, Rita Blitt Gallery, on the Washburn University campus. The exhibition examines the representation of Black women in the United States over the past two centuries.

     Featuring more than 40 works of art, it confronts the history of marginalization and makes visible the presence of women of color in the history of American art. It will be on view in the Rita Blitt Gallery until Oct. 15, 2023.

      In the coming months, the Mulvane will present several programs to promote community engagement with “There Is a Woman in Every Color.” These events are free and are open to the public.

Centering Black Women in the Art World Panel Discussion

5:30 p.m., August 29

Rita Blitt Gallery

A discussion on the ways Black women artists explore identity in their work. The artists on this panel assert their creative agency in different ways to examine various subjects related to representation, gender, history, ethnicity and personhood. The range of artistic voices presented in this panel are a testament to the fact that art made by Black women should not be viewed as a monolith.

First Friday Reception

  • 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., September 1
  • Rita Blitt Gallery


Join the Mulvane staff for a reception as they welcome the community, students, faculty and staff to this new exhibition. This reception launches the celebration of the Mulvane’s centennial.


Art Lab for the Washburn University Family Day

  • 1 – 4 p.m., September 23
  • Mulvane Art Museum Courtyard

As part of the Washburn University Family Day celebrations, the Mulvane Art Museum Art Lab will host an afternoon of outdoors fun. Explore the art of printmaking to create your own sunflower along with other fun, creative art activities. Go on a journey with professional storyteller, Priscilla Howe, and discover the magic of Drum Safari in an interactive musical adventure. You can learn more about Washburn University’s Family Day by visiting

Conversation with the Curator

  • 6 – 7:30 p.m., October 4
  • Rita Blitt Gallery

Elizabeth S. Humphrey, curator of the “There is a Woman in Every Color,” will guide attendees through the gallery and engage them in a conversation about the exhibition’s works and themes. A reception will follow.

Gallery Talk

  • 11 a.m., October 5
  • Rita Blitt Gallery

As part of the 2023 Michael Tilford Conference on Diversity and Multiculturalism at Washburn University, Elizabeth S. Humphrey, curator of the “There is a Woman in Every Color,” will provide conference attendees with a gallery tour of the exhibition. The director of the Mulvane Art Museum, Connie Gibbons, will moderate a Q&A session with participants. You can find out more about the Tilford Conference by visiting


     “There Is a Woman in Every Color” features artwork by a number of important 20th and 21st century artists, including Emma Amos, Elizabeth Catlett, Alma Thomas, Carrie Mae Weems, Betye Saar, Faith Ringgold, Barbara Chase-Riboud, Kara Walker, Mickalene Thomas, LaToya Ruby Frazier and Nyeema Morgan. Supporting this art is a selection of 19th century works that highlight the continuity of experiences of Black women in America. The exhibition is organized in six thematic sections: portraiture, classical beauty, documented histories, labor, artistic exploration and the influence of literature. 

     “We are pleased to present this exhibition as our launch to Mulvane’s centennial celebration along with the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Brown v. Board Supreme Court decision,” said Connie Gibbons, director, Mulvane Art Museum. 

     The main galleries of the Mulvane are closed for renovation. The Rita Blitt Gallery, adjacent to White Concert Hall, is open Tuesday noon to 7 p.m., Wednesday through Friday noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday noon to 4 p.m. Learn more about the Mulvane Art Museum by visiting

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For further information, contact:
Connie Gibbons
Mulvane Art Museum
Office: 785-670-2423
Joy Bailes
Assistant Director of Public Relations for Washburn University
Office: 785-670-2153
Cell: 785-230-1648

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