LAWRENCE — The Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas will reopen its galleries Oct. 15 with a new exhibition featuring works of art from the collection that have never been displayed.
“Debut” will fill the Spencer’s third-floor galleries with more than 120 works that have never been exhibited combined with familiar works from the collection that are frequently used for research and teaching. The exhibition will remain on view for the duration of the museum’s Phase II renovation and the reinstallation of fourth-floor collection galleries.
Some works making their debut are from the Spencer Museum’s founding gift in 1917 while others just entered the collection this year. The exhibition provided a unique research opportunity for Curator Kris Ercums, who organized “Debut” and worked with the museum’s graduate interns during 2020-2021 to research objects that had no display history.
“‘Debut’ shares new research with our audiences that will benefit the museum for years to come,” Ercums said.
To celebrate the opening of “Debut,” the museum will host an “Open House / Open Grove” event Oct. 21-22. A full schedule of activities during these two days is available on the museum’s website. This event also celebrates the opening of “Understories,” an installation of creative work by KU and Haskell Indian Nations University students in Marvin Grove as part of the Spencer Museum’s Backyard Bash. All activities are free and open to the public, and free parking is available in lot 91 behind the museum during the times of this event.
Visitors can experience “Debut” beginning Friday, Oct. 15. Gallery hours will be Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours on Thursdays until 8 p.m. Face masks are required inside all buildings on the KU campus regardless of vaccination status.
“Debut” is supported by Friends of the Art Museum, KU Student Senate and the Linda Inman Bailey Exhibitions Fund. “Open House / Open Grove” is presented by the Friends of the Art Museum in honor of longtime friend and board member Reggie Robinson, who died in 2020, for his legacy of public service and leadership.
Photo: The exhibition “Debut” features more than 120 works of art from the Spencer Museum’s collection that have never been displayed. Image by Ryan Waggoner, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas.