The 3 Best Art Museums in Wichita (Plus a Little Something Something)

art museums wichita

Let’s get this out of the way: Wichita is not an art capital of the world, this country, or even Kansas. But that doesn’t mean we can discount Wichita entirely.

With the rise of Wichita pride, Doo-Dah City is now a hotspot for murals, galleries, and art markets. So, of course, our museums will reflect that too.

Wichita is home to many diverse styles: we’ve got Western influences, Indigenous art like Blackbear Bosin’s Keeper of the Plains, and Art Deco architecture, to name a few. And that’s what makes us so great!

Listed below are the three best art museums in Wichita with a bonus for any architecture-lovers out there.

Note: this list doesn’t contain the many galleries that abound our streets or the murals on just about every alleyway. We’ll have to cover those another time.

Map of Art Museums in Wichita, Kansas

Wichita Art Museum

Growing up, one of my all-time favorite things was slipping off my shoes and stepping onto the glass walkway in the Wichita Art Museum. Seeing the delicately blown glass sculptures beneath my toes was such a thrill.

But that’s not all the Wichita Art Museum is about. The WAM is a beautiful curation of local, national, and global art with hard-hitting exhibitions that come around every few months. A few years back, there was a killer exhibit on Matisse and Monet that I visited at least twice.

On top of their impressive indoor art collection, they have a sculpture garden, boasting eight giant works that are open for all to see.

They also have the Living Room: a maker space with the cuteness of a craft room. It’s for kids and adults, so you can bring the whole family.

Ulrich Museum of Art

The Ulrich Museum of Art is on Wichita State’s campus. Although it’s smaller, the Ulrich houses one of the greatest collections of 20th and 21st-century modern and contemporary art in Kansas. Who woulda thunk?

Its most famous piece? Personnages Oiseaux by Joan Míro. This mural is the only one of its kind—Míro only made less than ten murals in her lifetime and no other one was comprised of glass and marble. Crazy, right?

The Ulrich’s collection differs from the WAM’s in that it focuses a lot more on contemporary and modern artists. For example, the current exhibition, “Cheryl Pope: Variations on a Love Theme” features pieces from as late as 2020.

And, like the Wichita Art Museum, the Ulrich has a beautiful sculpture garden comprised of 80 works on 330 acres. They even have several Rodin casts! Sitting and sketching those will transport you straight to Paris—without the 11-hour flight.

Sure, the Ulrich is a smaller space, but it’s still a hotspot for inspiration and evocative art. Also, admission is free. While the WAM isn’t expensive, it is always heartwarming to see museums that offer free admission. Art for all!

Mark Arts

So, here’s the fun thing about Mark Arts: it’s not just a museum.

Yes, Mark Arts strives to be an “arts hub” for Wichita and its surrounding towns. Not only does Mark Arts have a 5,000 sq ft gallery with permanent works and traveling exhibitions, they also have event spaces, outdoor stages, and a plein air studio.

Did I mention they teach classes too? These courses range from the culinary arts to jewelry making to ceramics, and they’re available for all ages. Although admission to the gallery is free, these courses will cost you.

Mark Arts has a fascinating and slightly confusing history in Wichita. Technically, it was founded in the early 1900s, but that’s a story for another time. Let’s just say it used to be the Wichita Center for the Arts, for any of my older Wichitans (or history buffs) out there.

The gallery itself is gorgeous—a beautiful, open space with natural light flooding in. In fact, the whole building (or complex, really) is heavenly. They made the most of that space, let me tell you!

  • Address: 1307 N Rock Rd, Wichita, KS, 67206
  • Website: Mark Arts

Special Mention: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Allen House

Alright, is this technically a museum? In some ways, yes! In others, not so much. However, it does showcase Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic, prairie-style architecture. You know what I’m talking about: the subtle fusion of interior and exterior, earthy colors, and his beloved horizontal lines.

Finished in 1918, the Allen house is still incredibly well-preserved, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Wichita arts community. In 1973, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and well, the rest is history.

Due to its historical significance, you can only visit the house during a scheduled group or private tour. So make sure to schedule ahead of time, or you may not be let in.

Believe me, it’s worth it. If you like architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright, or beautiful things, you’re sure to have a good time at the Allen House. The tour guides are friendly, knowledgeable, and understanding of any home-envy that might hit you mid-tour.