The McPherson Museum
of McPherson, Kansas
, is a local history museum that preserves the historical and cultural heritage of the McPherson community.
The McPherson Museum is located in the historic 1920s Vaniman Mansion
, five blocks from the campus of McPherson College
. In 1969, McPherson College and the city of McPherson formed a public-private partnership for the purposes of establishing a museum, and collections held by the college and the city were moved into the mansion. In 1985, the McPherson Museum and Arts Foundation was established to operate the museum. Today the museum hosts five thousand visitors annually.
The origins of the McPherson Museum collections dates back to 1890 when the faculty and students of McPherson College began building a collection of geology
specimens. These collections were held and displayed at various locations on the college campus.
In 1967, the Jacob Strausz family of Moundridge, Kansas, donated their collection of over four-hundred pioneer artifacts to the city of McPherson with the stipulation that a museum be established to exhibit the collection. In 1968, the city of McPherson and McPherson College merged their two collections to create a museum for the benefit of the entire McPherson community.
The collections have been enhanced since 1968, and today the collections of the McPherson Museum consist of approximately 25,000 items and include such areas as geology, paleontology, pioneer history, fine art, Native American history, and local history.
Some highlights of the collection include:
Faced with expanding collections and growing challenges from an older building, the McPherson Museum currently has plans to build a fully modern facility to replace the aging Vaniman Mansion.