Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas
detail: Krishna Legend

Andrew W. Mellon Department of Academic Programs

How can contact with original works of art benefit teaching, learning and research?

Art objects provoke questions. They stimulate lively discussion and profound discourse, both in and beyond the galleries. They invite reflection and reconsideration. They generate complex sets of ideas. They inspire.

With an internationally known collection that is deep and diverse, the Spencer Museum of Art’s holdings currently number more than 38,000 artworks and artifacts in all media. These extensive resources make the SMA uniquely positioned to encourage interdisciplinary exploration at the intersection of art, ideas, and experience. Our mission is to strengthen, support, and contribute to the academic research and teaching of the University of Kansas, and to serve communities of learners across Kansas and beyond.

In 2009, with the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and numerous private donors, the SMA established the Andrew W. Mellon Department of Academic Programs. This new department builds on the Spencer Museum’s longstanding outreach to varied academic units with the aim of integrating SMA collections, exhibitions, facilities, and artistic projects into the crossdisciplinary intellectual life at KU.

The Spencer Museum of Art offers many opportunities for different levels of engagement, ranging from a one-time class visit to ongoing collaborative research or course development.

Any questions about arranging course visits or to learn more about the diverse opportunities to partner with the Spencer, please contact a member of the academic programs department.

  • Celka Straughn's Favorite Object in our Collection Celka Straughn Andrew W. Mellon Director of Academic Programs
  • Rebecca Blocksome's Favorite Object in our Collection Rebecca Blocksome's Favorite Object in our Collection Rebecca Blocksome ARC Writer/Editor & Academic Programs Coordinator