Throwback Thursday – “Out of the Box:” 80 Years at the Kentucky Building

The Kentucky Building on WKU’s campus has been the home of over 25 thousand local artifacts for 80 years. To celebrate the milestone, the Kentucky Museum opened a new exhibit. Called “Out of the Box,” it dives deeper into the history of how these artifacts tell the story of southern Kentucky.

“Out of the Box” was curated with help from 10 WKU faculty spanning eight university departments. The unique stories these artifacts tell transcend across multiple fields of study. Kentucky Museum visitors will notice artifacts representing the medical field, folk studies, anthropology, art, geography, philosophy, religion, music, geology, and human sciences. 

Featured artifacts are divided into categories and then analyzed from different perspectives based on field of study. “Out of the Box” includes items from all over southcentral Kentucky, focusing mostly on caves, fashion, music, medicine, the home and the church.

But digging further into these categories, museum visitors will notice how the makeup of these artifacts contributed to other factors in developing area communities. Like how cave geology affected tourism and medical studies, or how music played a role in religion and culture, or even how business changed when women started taking on leadership roles.

These southern Kentucky artifacts represent the area’s history and way of life.  The Kentucky Museum has been preserving history for eight decades. Studying these artifacts and learning societal patterns helps us better plan for the future and understand the museum’s role in the 21st century. The exhibit is open now through June 2020.