The first artwork for the collection was purchased in 1939 by the trust, after which followed a broad range of paintings, sculptures, pottery, and textiles by artists such as Robert Henri, Mary Cassatt, Edward Hopper, Horace Pippin, and Albert Ryder. Other famed artists features include Maurice Prendergast, Charles Sheeler, Albert Pinkham, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, and Arthur G. Dove and the lobby of the Museum features a striking chandelier and ceiling design by Dale Chihuly.
The Wichita Art Museum underwent an expansion in 1963 with the addition of a new lobby and two new wings designed by local architect Robert Schaefer to house the ever-growing collection, and in the 1970s a larger climate controlled facility was built. The Museum had its last expansion in 2003 taking the total floor space up to 115,000 square feet, which included more exhibition space, an art services area, a research library, a museum store and a new restaurant.
The Wichita Art Museum also offers a variety of educational programs designed to bring people, ideas, and American Art together in order enrich lives and build a spirit within the local community and hosts several events and functions throughout the year, such as Artcation and Winter Art Mania.
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