'Meet the Spencers: A Marriage of Arts and Sciences' exhibition to open at Kenneth Spencer Research Library

Readers: This story reflects updated RSVP and event dates due to inclement weather days in February.

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Libraries will open a new exhibition in the Kenneth Spencer Research Library this spring. “Meet the Spencers: A Marriage of Arts and Sciences” features a personal look at Kenneth A. and Helen F. Spencer, avid supporters of KU and KU Libraries.

“Meet the Spencers” is the second exhibition held in celebration of Spencer Research Library’s 50th anniversary. The library was dedicated Nov. 8, 1968, when Helen Spencer provided remarks to a crowd of more than 250 people. 

Featuring materials from the holdings at Spencer Research Library along with items from other institutions, the exhibition explores the Spencers’ many philanthropic contributions to scientific and cultural organizations in the Greater Kansas City area. It also examines the development and early history of Spencer Research Library.

“Kenneth and Helen were proud lifelong Midwesterners,” said Marcella Huggard, manuscripts coordinator and exhibition co-curator. “They loved the region and were committed to proving it was just as significant for business, the arts and the sciences as either of the coasts.” 

“The Spencers displayed their commitment to the Midwest through their business efforts and philanthropic endeavors,” said Caitlin Klepper, head of public services at Spencer Research Library. Klepper and Huggard are the curators of the exhibition.

The opening reception will be March 26 at the Spencer Research Library. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception, followed by remarks by R. Crosby Kemper III, executive director of the Kansas City Public Library. 

“KU Libraries are honored to highlight the lives of Kenneth and Helen Spencer, two great library supporters,” said Kevin L. Smith, dean of libraries. “The Spencers made profound improvements to the University of Kansas campus through their generous gifts. Their contributions to KU have created a legacy that will continue to benefit students, researchers and others into the future.”

The event is free and open to the public. Those who plan to attend may RSVP to Kelly Spavin by March 21 online at rockcha.lk/Spencers or to libevents@ku.edu.

The exhibition will be on display until June 28. Find out more information on exhibitions at Spencer Research Library at spencer.lib.ku.edu.




Mon, 01/28/2019


Leah Hallstrom

Media Contacts

Leah Hallstrom

KU Libraries