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Logan museum getting new director in new year

12/30/2012

11LOGAN -- The director might change next month, but the mission of the Dane G. Hansen Memorial Museum and the foundation that supports it will remain the same, just like it has for almost 40 years now.

Shirley Henrickson, museum director for the last six years, will leave next month to help her husband in his risk management crop insurance business.

"It's been a real honor and privilege," Henrickson said. "It's been a great place to work."

Taking over will be Nova Bates, Henrickson's assistant for the past six months. She admits to being nervous.

"I've been nervous since day one, but I've had a great teacher," she said.

Bates said becoming director seems "overwhelming" but added she was excited.

"It's a good opportunity for me," she said.

The museum has both a permanent collection in its art gallery and temporary exhibits. The museum also has on permanent display Dane Hansen's office, oriental art collected by his sister, Kate Hansen, in Japan from 1907 to 1951, and art objects purchased by the museum.

The museum also has an "Artist of the Month" exhibit.

The Hansen foundation funds the museum and supports Logan and the surrounding area in many ways, Henrickson said.

"They do different things for the area," Henrickson said. "For instance, here in town they help support the swimming pool, the assisted living, Logan Manor.

"There's millions of dollars of scholarships that have been given away. That was one of the things he expressed, that he would like his money to be used, particularly for youth, and the community of Logan, and go out from there."

Dane G. Hansen, born in 1883, was son of one of the founders of Logan. He started business in 1905 working with his parents in a large mercantile store. He later started his own business, which evolved into road and bridge construction. With the discovery of oil in 1941, Hansen went into oil development and was among the largest independent operators in Kansas.

Bates said the Hansen museum, which was dedicated in 1973, "brings a lot of people to Logan. It helps keep Logan thriving."

"It supports our youth, and they're our future," she said of the foundation.

"It's hard to express what it does for our area," said local artist Staci Hartman of the museum and foundation. "For me, artistically, I took my first classes to learn here at the museum."

Now, Hartman has her first exhibit at the museum. She has a collection of 42 paintings on display in the gallery through Feb. 3.

"I've always been interested in art all my life," Hartman said. "I've been working in oils and pastels for the past 10 years."

The museum board selects the artists who will be displayed in the gallery.

"I was very honored," Hartman said. "It's just very pleasing, because when you see them displayed in a professional setting like this, they just take on a different light.

"I was excited for people to get to view them here."

Henrickson admits to being excited when a new traveling exhibit arrives.

"The traveling exhibits are almost like Christmastime every time you get one in, because you open the crate and get to see the new exhibit and put it up and learn about it," Henrickson said. "It has been a wonderful experience for me."

Bates, who has been with the museum for less than a year, said her favorite thing so far is the annual arts and crafts fair.

"I absolutely love seeing all the different things people bring," she said. "There's just such a sense of accomplishment at the end, when you're all done and get good feedback from the crafters and the community."

The museum, which has no admission fee, is open from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Saturdays, it's open 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m., while it's open 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Open or closed, there is a "security guard" inside, near the entrance. Actually, it's a life-size, realistic sculpture of a security guard, the work of Marc Sijan, who creates human figures. An exact replica of the sculpture at the museum was in Michael Jackson's mansion.

"When you're driving down the street at night, and you look in, you really believe there is a security guard there," Henrickson said.

In a matter of weeks, if not days, Henrickson will be on the outside looking in, after Bates takes over as the museum's director.

"You don't get bored, there's such a variety here," Henrickson said. "I will really miss it."