Topeka, Kan. – Washburn University’s Mulvane Art Museum is celebrating both an opening and reopening beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 16. The museum, 1700 SW Jewell Ave., plans to open two meaningful exhibitions while also opening its doors to the public again after nearly a year of renovation work.

    Both exhibitions are helping to mark important milestones for the Mulvane Art Museum and the Topeka community. The Mulvane is celebrating 100 years of art as the community commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision.

    “Art is reflective of history and society, which is why exhibitions such as these provide important commentaries on our past, present and future,” said Connie Gibbons, director, Mulvane Art Museum. “We are so grateful to these artists for sharing their work and to our committed supporters who enable these works to have a wide-reaching impact.”

   The Mulvane Art Museum closed last June for major renovations that included updates to the HVAC system, ensuring the museum maintains the proper environment for preserving an extensive collection of artwork.

(Gibbons will be available for interviews at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, May 16.)


CRAVING LIGHT: The Museum of Love and Reckoning
Public Reception: 6:30 – 8 p.m., May 16
Exhibit runs May 16 - July 20, Rita Blitt Gallery

CRAVING LIGHT features an installation created by vanessa german as part of ArtsConnect’s Summer of Love and Justice. As a citizen artist, german worked with community members to examine the impacts of segregation and commemorate individuals involved in the Brown v. Board of Education decision. The exhibition explores the 1954 ruling as a defining moment in the fight for equality, weaving in histories and events preceding the decision, such as the 1896 court case Plessy v. Ferguson. Works in the exhibition also explore the reverberations of Brown v. Board over the past 70 years; highlight cultural practices like redlining that have continued to perpetuate inequality; and invite viewers to consider how we can help build a better future.

I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America
Public Reception: 6:30 – 8 p.m., May 16
Exhibit runs May 15 – July 8, Mulvane Art Museum, Main Level 

The Mulvane is pleased to present the reinstallation of the 75 timeless Portraits of Black Women by Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Brian Lanker. The exhibition toured internationally throughout the 1990s and 2000s and along with the book, I Dream a World, that was published at the same time, it touched the lives of millions. Acquired by the Mulvane in 2019, the collection of photographs remains as relevant and powerful as ever, as images speak to the urgent vision of Black Women. This series of photographs depicts women including Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks, Althea Gibson, Lena Horne, Ruby Dee, Coretta Scott King, Oprah Winfrey and Septima Poinsette Clark. 


For more information:
Connie Gibbons
Mulvane Art Museum
Office: 785-670-2423
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