WE WANT YOUR ULRICH MEMORIES!
On December 7, 2024, the Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art will officially turn 50 years old! In its half a century, the Museum has grown into an invaluable asset to Wichita State University and Wichita communities, bringing cutting-edge contemporary art to our region and amassing a world-class collection of modern and contemporary art.
In anticipation of this anniversary, we want to hear from you! As past and present Ulrich visitors, supporters, and staff, you understand what makes the Ulrich special. Using the form below, please share with us any memory or memories that are most emblematic of your experience with the Ulrich. Photographs are also welcome! Were you transfixed by an encounter with a single work? Changed by a visit to an exhibition? Enlightened or challenged by a talk? Delighted by a performance or event? Comforted by daily encounters with pieces from the Outdoor Sculpture Collection? Had a great conversation within our walls? Your experiences will illuminate what is most meaningful about the Museum and its work and what we might focus on in the Museum’s future.
The contributions we collect will remain permanently as an archive available on this webpage and will be a great resource to the Ulrich’s current stewards. We are grateful for all memories shared and are excited to piece together in a new way a picture of the community that the Ulrich has been serving and creating for 50 years.
When my host brought me to campus in 1984 for my first day of interview, we entered campus from 17th St. I was immediately astounded with the Miro mural. I thought "this place has something going for it." I took the job and retired in 2005. Became a regular attendee after retirement.Ellie Skokan
I moved to Wichita in 1988, and discovered the Ulrich in the early 90's... After feeling really out of place moving from Chicago — I finally discovered ART on Commerce Street and at the Ulrich— among the first places. I absolutely loved the beige carpeting on all the Ulrich walls, and fondly remember running my fingertips down it whenever I was there. The Ulrich had an inviting feeling of non-institutional freedom. I remember laying on my back and inching under a large black and orange mobile without fear of being reprimanded. Your staff was welcoming and friendly! I befriended Teresa Veasey and David Butler, and was invited to join a community committee — which was an honor and pleasure. I am friends with them to this day! I had the fortune and fun of briefly working for Carolyn, along with some young aspiring artists. Taking your artistic freedom to the next level — right after the unveiling ceremony for Millie — I was the first to ride her!Johanne Pachankis
As far as memorable moments: at one of the openings I met Randy Regier, not knowing him or his background, and had a totally transfixing conversation with him! Another highlight was the Cirque-like performance at McKnight. Every time I attend an event at the Ulrich it is enjoyable for the event — AND for being able to visit with so many of my "art museum groupies". Thank you for the friendships!
My knitting group read an article about yarn bombing. I thought the WSU sculpture collection would be a great place to try to have one. While "yarn bombing" is often done secretly, I was not anxious to get arrested vandalizing the WSU sculpture. Therefore, I took a magazine article to Patricia McDonnell and asked her to consider letting us "yarn bomb" a piece of the collection. Patricia and Emily took this idea up and decided to do a large yarn bomb to include the entire collection and any group that wanted to participate. My group was given Millie to "dress" for the occasion. We had to bring in some friends as Millie is very large and takes a lot of yarn and work. The day of the installation we had to figure out how to attach all of the yarn pieces. While some members sewed on the leggings, others used fishing line to attach the large pieces and tie them down so that the segments could be seen. Marilyn Hansen was responsible to knitting the WSU logo into the headband. The event was a great success as groups came from all over town to tour the campus and see all of the lovely pieces. There was great creativity shown on so many pieces. Plus it was great fun!Jane McHugh
One of my earliest and most vivid memories of the Ulrich was when I was an undergraduate student. I'm not sure of the exact date but it may have been the opening year of the museum. I vividly remember going to the Ulrich and realizing that the man I was standing close to actually was part of the exhibit. At that instant, I was both amused and a little embarrassed. Duane Hansen and his sculptures became part of my personal art history. Since then, I've made an effort to get to Ulrich exhibits and also encourage my students to attend events. Meeting artists and knowing their work has broadened my perspective. The faculty biennials also are amazing. Having the Ulrich on campus is a treasure we often take for granted. Here's to a great golden anniversary.Elaine Bernstorf