Lowell D. Holmes Museum of Anthropology in Neff Hall - Wichita State University
Neff Hall on the Wichita State University Campus in Wichita, Kansas houses one of the best kept travel secrets in the State of Kansas. The Lowell D. Holmes Museum of Anthropology is a fascinating, free museum which you will probably have entirely to yourself. We were blown away as we explored the Mary Lynn Oliver Gallery and the staircases and hallways of Neff Hall. We probably didn't find all that the museum has to offer.
The Holmes museum is a teaching museum operated by students enrolled in the Wichita State's Museum Studies Program and gives potential museum professionals hands on experience in museum administration, operations, and exhibition. The museum's collections include a wide range of cultural, archaeological, and biological objects, with the largest collections being Asmat and Native American.
This museum is a delightful surprise, but I feel like the program is overlooking an important area of museum operations - promotion. Not only would students promoting the Holmes Museum open the museum to many more visitors, students could learn about vital parts of running a museum such as reaching a larger audience and potentially developing sponsors.
The bulk of the museum's collection is devoted to the Asmat people, who live in Papua New Guinea. In 2001, the Holmes Museum of Anthropology sent an expedition into the Asmat region to collect one of the largest and most important collections of Asmat art in the United States.
The Holmes Museum is open to the public Monday through Friday afternoons from September to May. It is closed weekends and through the summer. Allow a minimum of 45 minutes to tour the museum. Some people will spend most of the afternoon.
Group tours are welcome with a two week advance notice.
copyright 2018 by Keith Stokes