IMLS Grant

Wichita Art Museum awarded $68,355 from Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

Woman wearing a mask looking down at a colorful tapestry on a table

Textile conservator Beth McLaughlin from Midwest Art Conservation Center visited Wichita in March 2021 to survey the conservation needs of WAM’s Americana collection

The Wichita Art Museum was one of only two Kansas museums to receive funding from the agency’s largest competitive grant program, “Museums for America.” Grant money from “Museums for America,” announced in September 2019, has been used to conduct a conservation survey of selected objects from the museum’s art collection and is part of grants totaling more than $21 million for museums across the nation.

The goal of the IMLS-funded survey is to identify specific, prioritized works of art in WAM’s collection that would benefit from conservation and rank those artworks according to priority of need. WAM staff worked with conservators of varying specialties to address the conservation needs of a diverse range of materials, including works on paper, mixed-media objects, paintings, and textiles.

Out of 449 total applications to IMLS, WAM was one of only 112 projects selected for “Museums for America.” The award put WAM in the company of larger art museums across the country who received IMLS funding, including the Denver Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.

“The award from our nation’s capital conveys a wonderful vote of confidence for the hard work we do at the Wichita Art Museum,” said WAM Director Dr. Patricia McDonnell. “The project to study and prioritize which artworks in our collection merit special attention, to conserve for present and future generations of Wichitans and other visitors, is very significant.”

“As centers of learning and catalysts of community change, libraries and museums connect people with programs, services, collections, information, and new ideas in the arts, sciences, and humanities. They serve as vital spaces where people can connect with each other; said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “IMLS is proud to support their work through our grant making as they inform and inspire all in their communities.”

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaklng, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit and follow IMLS on Facebook and Twitter.