2019-2020 Collections

Message from Baryn Futa and Angelica Daneo

The museum’s global art collections represent cultures around the world, with more than 70,000 works of art in 12 collections, including African art, architecture and design, art of the ancient Americas, Asian art, European and American art before 1900, Latin American art, Oceanic art, modern and contemporary art, photography, textile art and fashion, Indigenous arts of North America, and western American art.

Following are notable recent acquisitions.

Asian Art

Ever since the DAM started to collect and present Chinese arts in 1915, the growth of the museum’s Chinese collections has benefited from hundreds of patrons’ generous donations from all over the world. This tradition of generous giving continues today. This past year, we were fortunate to receive a significant number of Chinese artworks from the Dennis and Alyssa Law Foundation, which have significantly enhanced the quality and diversity of the museum’s Chinese holdings.


In 1930, an unknown photographer made these extraordinary portraits of Black citizens of Topeka, Kansas, both at work at the then-new Jayhawk Hotel and at leisure on the sidewalks and porches of their neighborhood. The photographer’s casual undertaking reveals the dignity, friendship, free-spiritedness, and strong sense of community among his subjects.

Textile Art and Fashion

This kimono dress shows how Japanese fashion designer and Comme des Garçons’ founder Rei Kawakubo, the master of “deconstruction,” is able to conceptually renew traditional Japanese materials and construction. This dress is emblematic of Comme des Garçons’ spring-summer 2018 collection. It was featured in the Costume Institute’s 2019 exhibition, “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, because of its pop culture references to Manga and graffiti.

Western American Art

The acquisition of this brilliant modernist depiction of a Taos pueblo brings attention to an overlooked woman artist and underscores the Petrie Institute of Western American Art department’s commitment to diversifying the collection. Born in Illinois in 1885, Eda Sterchi was a landscape and genre painter who worked in the Midwest, Southwest, Europe, and Tunisia.

Major Acquisitions by Department

Additional curatorial and conservation activities

In preparation for the Martin Building reopening, this video shows how the museum reinstalled two monumental house poles.

A conservator prepares an artwork from our collection to travel to another museum.

This video is from the June 2020 opening event for Rhythm & Ritual, a collaboration with Museo de las Americas.

Former fellow Jared Katz created a series of videos with local creatives related to Rhythm & Ritual.

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