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The e-book MARIANNA KISTLER BEACH MUSEUM OF ART: PEOPLE AND SPACES was created by the Board of the Friends of the Beach Museum of Art and published by New Prairie Press of Kansas State University in 2021. The purpose of the book is to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the art museum’s opening on the K-State campus in October 1996. It includes articles about the people who are honored by named spaces in the museum. Their contributions allowed the museum to become a reality, including an addition to the building that opened in 2007. When Jon Wefald became president of K-State in 1986, the university was the only institution in the Big 8 Conference without an art museum. First Lady Ruth Ann Wefald took the lead in obtaining the supporters and funds to establish a home for the institution’s impressive art collection. The most notable contribution came from Ross and Marianna Kistler Beach whose generous financial support made the building possible. In 1991 they provided the lead gift for an art museum that would be named in honor of Marianna to commemorate the couple’s 50th wedding anniversary. After the book’s introduction by Linda Duke, the museum’s executive director, Ruth Ann summarizes the difficult journey to establish an art museum. It is followed by an account of Marianna’s many accomplishments. The remainder of the publication contains 23 articles — written by board members of the Friends of the Beach Museum of Art — devoted to the people for whom spaces in the building are named. Photographs are included of those who are honored and spaces in the building including galleries, educational wing, theater, offices, and work and storage locations. The diverse group of people and their contributions have made the museum what it has become during its 25 years — a vibrant place for the collecting, studying, caring for, and presenting the visual art of Kansas and the region. Editors of the e-book are Anthony R. Crawford, Marla Day, Martha Scott, and Marlene VerBrugge, board members of the Friends of the Beach Museum of Art.



Publication Date


Edition Statement

Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art at 25: People and Spaces is also available in ebook format: and can be found in the New Prairie Press Pressbooks Catalog."


Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art at 25: People and Spaces is a celebratory volume acknowledging the 25th anniversary of Kansas State University's art museum. It is well-designed and well-written with multiple authors drawn from the museum's Friends organization. Chapters describe various galleries and other features of the museum, focusing on the people for whom those spaces are named. Taken together, the book presents a comprehensive look at the creation of a university art museum over the course of several decades.

It is an important contribution to the museum's history. The value of an art museum to a university campus, its surrounding community and beyond is demonstrated by the dedication of the individuals who advocated for the museum and brought it to reality twenty-five years ago. It clearly "took a village" as well as strong leadership as the book documents. People central to the Beach's story are all featured, from the leadership of Ruth Ann Wefald to the generosity of Ross and Marianna Beach, with many other interesting contributors and supporters along the way. Biographies are well-researched and engaging, with many of them quite detailed, demonstrating the impact of numerous individuals on the establishment and growth of the museum. Accompanying photos help to bring the chapters to life.

At this landmark anniversary, this book illustrates a passion for the arts that brought the Beach Museum of Art from vision to reality at Kansas State University. As such, it is an important contribution to the documented history not just of the museum but the university and community.

-Lori A. Goetsch, Dean Emerita


New Prairie Press




Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, Kansas State University, Art, Architecture, Museums, Marianna Kistler Beach, Ruth Ann Wefald


Art and Design | Arts and Humanities | Fine Arts

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art at 25: People and Spaces