LOGAN — Approximately two years ago, a trio of women traveling from Denver had a somewhat difficult time finding their way into Logan. The companions had heard about the community and the Dane G. Hansen Museum through following a traveling exhibit that featured oil paintings of America’s national parks.
It was an exhibit they had shown great interest in catching before it was further away from their area.
It so happened the Hansen Museum and Memorial Plaza, nestled on the south end of the town of approximately 500 to 600 people, just off U.S. Highway 9 in western Phillips County, was just the destination they were looking for.
“The ladies from Denver wanted to know if we knew we weren’t on a major highway,” recalled Merry Jessup, who has been the assistant director of the museum for a little more than three years.
But its proximity to Interstate 70 or even U.S. Highway 183 hasn’t stopped the small-town attraction, completed in 1972, from drawing big-time attention. In that same week two years back, another couple from Wichita — who also had been following the exhibit — made their way into the museum’s guestbook.
“It amazes me that the people come from far and wide to the exhibits,” said Shari Buss, who was named the museum’s director in January. “And the stuff we are able to get here amazes me.”
Funded by the Dane G. Hansen Foundation, a charitable organization established in 1965, the free-admission museum brings different exhibits, hosts events and administers continuing education classes throughout the year.
“I like what they do for not only this community, but for a large part of Kansas,” Buss said of the foundation and the museum. “They really reach out and try to get people involved — learning about art and building some lifelong hobbies and skills.”
The museum recently featured its annual high school art show, which displays work from several area schools, mainly out of the Mid-Continent League and Logan. At the museum now is the “Abundance of Riches” exhibit, a traveling woodwork display out of California featured until May 8.
That’s in addition to the numerous permanent exhibits inside, including Hansen’s office, a collection of American and foreign coins, European and Western guns, and an oriental art collection by Kate Hansen in Japan. The museum also features an an artist of the month, usually an artist from Kansas. The museum also hosts various painting, dance and quilting classes, as well as water aerobics at the public pool.
Hours for the museum are 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The museum is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.