The Ulrich Museum of Art’s world-class Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection boasts 81 works spread across the 330-acre Wichita State University campus.
The Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art was established in 1974 to enhance and support Wichita State University's educational and service missions. Then-president Clark Ahlberg believed a superior university should be ever mindful of the thriving city surrounding it. In 1977, he articulated this belief: "We have an obligation to reach as many people as possible and to do it with the highest standards—in this case, the highest artistic standards—if we are to properly serve this urban area." Under the leadership of the Museum's first director, Dr. Martin H. Bush, in the first twenty years of its life, the Ulrich Museum became an integral part of university and community life.
The Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection established in 1972 is a unique and priceless collection recognized nationally for its world-class works of art. It is an integral part of the daily campus experience, creating a powerful and joyful place for WSU students, faculty, staff and the community. The 81-piece Outdoor Sculpture Collection, an extension of the Ulrich Museum of Art’s permanent collection, is a beloved source of immense and justified pride for the University, the City of Wichita, the State of Kansas, and the region. Defining the WSU campus with beauty and distinction, the collection features works by Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson, Fernando Botero, Andy Goldsworthy, Tom Otterness and many more. One of Wichita's most significant cultural attractions, the Outdoor Sculpture Collection is always free and always open.
It is important to mention that the Museum received WSU Student Government Association (SGA) funding support for the commission of 22 sculptures in the Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection between 1972 and 2008. Student Fee Funding has transformed our collection and the campus through sculpture commissions.
Download the Ulrich Museum of Art mobile app for non-stop access to the Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection through self-guided tours using images, text, video, and audio. The Ulrich app also includes a family tour, interactive maps, and more!
Banner: Alice Aycock's Twister Grande (tall), 2020. Located at the entrance of WSU's Innovation Campus.
On Tuesday August 4th the Ulrich Museum welcomed the 81st sculpture to its Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection and the campus of WSU. The towering sculpture Twister Grande (tall) by artist Alice Aycock is the first sculpture from the collection to be placed on the east side of the innovation quad. The “Twister” series is the culmination of Aycock’s practice. It gives solid form to the ever-moving natural force of wind, which impacts Kansas more than most places, and combines it with the imagery of dance and a complex production process that makes advances in contemporary computer-assisted design visible and palpable. At WSU, Twister Grande (tall) embodies the spirit of former President John Bardo, reminding generations to come of the qualities he brought to campus as a leader: dynamism, adaptability, drive, and the recognition of the need for change, all put in service of moving toward the future.
Twister Grande (tall) is also a significant addition to the Ulrich Museum’s Martin H. Bush Out-door Sculpture Collection, which includes work by some of the most prominent 20th and 21st century artists working in the field of public sculpture. Among its eighty pieces, the Outdoor Sculpture Collection currently contains a handful of key works by major women sculptors, including Louise Nevelson, Barbara Hepworth, Ursula Von Rydingsvard, and, most recently, Elyn Zimmerman. Women, however, are still underrepresented in the collection, and adding this work by Alice Aycock celebrates the best that art has to offer in public space while also celebrating a woman artist who turned herself into a force of nature to accomplish her successes.
Thank you to everyone who made the installation of Alice Aycock’s Twister Grande (tall) a huge success! Click here to watch drone footage of the installation.