Public Art Guide: Kansas Statehouse
The Kansas Statehouse and Grounds contain many works of art, including murals and sculptures. Some of the most famous works are the murals by John Steuart Curry, located on the second floor of the capitol. There are also works by Lumen Martin Winter and Peter “Fritz” Felton. Free guided tours are available. On the capitol grounds, you can see sculptures by Robert Merrell Gage and others. Full information can be found at kshs.org/capitol.
Tragic Prelude, John Steuart Curry, 1942
Curry was an American Regionalist painter. Tragic Prelude depicts John Brown and the anti-slavery movement in the Kansas Territory. It portrays John Brown clutching a rifle in one hand and a bible in another. It is said that Curry considered his murals in the Kansas State Capitol to be some of his greatest paintings.
Ad Astra, Richard Bergen, 2002
The 22 foot tall hollow cast silicon bronze sculpture Ad Astra stands atop the statehouse dome and 4,420 pounds. Ad Astra depicts a Kansa warrior and the name is from the Kansas motto, “Ad astra per aspera,” or, "to the stars through difficulties." (Photo credit: Kansas State Historical Society.)
Abraham LIncoln, Robert Merrell Gage
Located in the southeast quadrant of Capitol Square, this statue of Abraham Lincoln was created by Robert Merrell Gage, who also created the nearby Pioneer Women’s Memorial.
Pioneer Women Memorial, Robert Merrell Gage, 1937
Located in the southwest quadrant of Capitol Square, this statue was dedicated on May 11, 1937. The memorial represents the confident and watchful pioneer mother protecting her children. It was donated by the Kansas Pioneer Women’s Association, founded by women who came to Kansas as pioneers or were daughters of early settlers.