The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has announced grant awards totaling more than $29 million for museums across the United States, including $161,200 for the Wichita Art Museum
, one of only three Kansas museums to receive funding from the agencys largest competitive grant program, Museums for America.
Grant money from Museums for America will be used to conserve 80 important artworks in WAMs collection. Partnering with the Midwest Art Conservation Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the museum will conserve a group of high-priority paintings by premier American artists that include Winslow Homer, Benny Andrews, George Bellows, Robert Henri and Walt Kuhn. Grant money also will be used to conserve artworks from WAMs American Folk Art collection, wide-ranging examples that include an eagle flagpole, 19th-century rocking horse, barber pole, and horse-and-rider weathervane.
Of the 758 total grant applications to IMLS, the Wichita Art Museum was one of only 208 projects selected. The Museums for America award, of which 126 projects were funded, puts WAM in the company of larger art museums across the United States who received this IMLS funding, including the Denver Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Atlantas High Museum of Art.
The award from our nations capital conveys a wonderful vote of confidence for the hard work we do at the Wichita Art Museum, said WAM Director Dr. Patricia McDonnell. The project to conserve gems in our art collection, for present and future generations of Wichitans and other visitors, is very significant.
Our current round of grants for the museum world reflects the important work of our nations cultural institutions during the pandemic and the deep thinking about the future of our culture in a post-pandemic world, said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. Advancing the preservation of collections, diversity through staff training and programming, community response, and formal and informal education for future generations is inspiring.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower Americas museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities.
The Wichita Art Museum opened in 1935 and is home to the Roland P. Murdock Collection, one of the premier collections of American art. With a nationally distinguished collection, an Edward Larrabee Barnes-designed facility, and a growing audience, the museum is a public/private partnership, owned by the City of Wichita and managed by Wichita Art Museum, Inc. The mission of the Wichita Art Museum is to bring people, ideas, and American art together to enrich lives and build community.