Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Museum of World Treasures
MUSEUM OF WORLD TREASURES
How did one man manage to collect so many artifacts in one lifetime? We were at the Museum of World Treasures in Wichita, Kansas, surrounded by items from all over the world and different historical periods. The collection has a tremendous range from Logan the Tylosaur, a giant fish who once patrolled the Western Inland sea over Kansas, to vases from ancient Greece to Bios on modern presidents.
We were told the collection was started by Dr. Jon Kardatzke, and he had put them into the museum in 2001 with the intent of educating the community. It was a hit. As more visitors came in, the collection received more attention from other fanatical collectors who also wanted to share the materials they had obsessively collected.
Now the collections have been expanded by 30 major private collectors and additional material from another 300. No wonder it is such an overwhelming collection.
What was the most impressive? The displays on the presidents of the U.S., which included such things as signed reports, letters and quotations from each. So impressive I will write a separate story on it.
The next most impressive displays were the dinosaurs that were the equal of what we have seen in major museums across the country. The museum had to move to expanded quarters when they added three giant dinosaurs including Ivan the T. Rex.
Ivan the T. Rex
The collection of Buddha statues from around the world had a number of body shapes with several being the expected overweight ones. For example, the Laughing Buddha weighs two and a half tons.
A herd of Cape buffalo carved out of iron wood caught our attention. How can anyone do an intricate job like that? How do they keep the legs coming out of the right bodies?
A small room was filled with materials from Egyptian tombs including two female mummies, some Egyptian coffins, figurines, jewelry, and animal mummies.
We were shown the reality of cowboy life, low paid, hardworking and many of them black. Something we were not told in our books and movies that instead conveyed the romantic lives of the American cowboy.
Reproduction of a scene from a WWII Air Force Base
Reproduction of a scene from the Civil War
America’s wars? Each is covered with artifacts and stories. At the entrance to the Civil War we watched a movie on Quantrill’s raid into Lawrence, Kansas, where his bushwackers killed most of the men in town and successfully escaped the army who pursued him.
One of the collectors must have been obsessed with uniforms for in several collection WWI and WWII we see the uniforms of all of the participants from different countries along with the rifles they used. Each of the wars also has a scene constructed of artifacts and manikins showing a typical scene of that war.
"One of a kind display" includes the Scarecrow’s pitchfork from the Wizard of Oz, a portion of the Berlin Wall, the scalp of George Custer’s nephew Henry Armstrong Reed taken by one of the Indians at Custer’s last stand.
Scavenger hunts are encouraged to get younger visitors involved. For pre- kindergarten to 2nd grade a set of pictures are given of objects to be looked for: Logan the Tylosaur, World War II era baby carriage, Civil War US Cavalry soldier hat.
Third grade to fifth graders were asked to find such things as: What hairstyle does the mummy on the right have? Find the clock in the Famous Authors collection. What famous author did it belong to?
For the sixth grade to adult things get harder: What is the laughing Buddha holding in his hands? What did soldiers fighting in Vietnam sometimes use, against regulation, to heat their meals?
The above questions also gives a taste of the wide range of subjects covered by the collection.
This is one of those museums that almost demands the visitor come back to see more.
A Buddha from the Buddha Collection