Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas
detail: Workers of the Soil by John E. Costigan

The Prairie Print Makers

The Prairie Print Makers Collection at the Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, was originally assembled by Bud Jennings. Driven by the spirit of the hunt, Jennings pieced together a formidable archive of prints and materials relating the Prairie Print Makers. The archive could not have been formed without Bud's untiring enthusiasm. He located prints at estate sales, and tracked down friends and family members of the artists. His goal was twofold: to acquire a complete set of the gift prints and to acquire at least one print by each member of the Prairie Print Makers. Only two members are lacking from the collection: James (John?) Cassell and Edwin H. Holgate. In 1988 the Spencer Museum of Art displayed the collection of Bud and Ruby Jennings in an exhibition featuring the Gift Prints.

When the Jenningses decided to sell the collection, they came first to the Spencer Museum of Art. Through the combined generosity of the Jenningses and another friend of the museum and avid print collector, Steven Schmidt (K.U. Class of 1958), the Spencer Museum acquired the collection in 1991. Mr. Schmidt donated the Gift Prints to the museum through purchase and the remainder of the collection was given outright by Mr. and Mrs. Jennings. Through their combined efforts the Spencer Museum of Art is the home of this important archive of one of the most distinguished chapters in Kansas printmaking. To see these prints, search Spencer’s online database for "Prairie Print Makers".