Prairie Museum of Art & History

category : Museums
Prairie Museum of Art & History The Museum has been dubbed "one of the finest museums in the Midwest" by KANSAS! magazine. Enjoy an international collection of rare dolls, procelain, glass, antiques and artifacts in the main museum building. There is also an overview of Thomas County History. The complex includes a furnished sod house, 1930's farm stead, one-room school, and country church. The centerpiece of the complex is the Cooper Barn, the biggest barn in Kansas. It was moved 16 miles in one piece and measures 114' x 66' x 48'. It houses photographs, antique implements and vehicles. The cavernous upper level is used for dances and activities and is open to visitors so they may experience the immensity of this historic barn.Kuska Collection

In 1975, the Society was given the Kuska Collection. The unique collection of over 28,000 artifacts from Europe, Asia and North America was collected by Joe and Nellie Kuska. It consists of dolls, ceramics, glass, furniture, silver, toys, textiles and clothing. The couple lived in Colby for over 50 years and spent their entire lives collecting and sharing their knowledge of the collection.

The unique Kuska Collection distinguishes the museum as one of the finest museums in the Midwest. On exhibit are dolls by famous makers such as Jumeau, Ravca, Marseille, Clears and Schoenhut. There are china, bisque, composition, parian and wooden dolls.

One of the prized dolls in the collection of 2,000 is a rare French fashion doll signed "Rocharde". This doll wears an elegant gown, a genuine ermine cape and jewelry. Her necklace, viewed closely, shows magnified pictures of famous paintings.

Among the many china and porcelain pieces is a gallery of 16th century Meissen, Europeís first and most important hard paste porcelain factory. One of the outstanding Meissen pieces is "The Good Life". It represents the court of Louis XV.

For information of sight-seeing features throughout Thomas County, contact the Prairie Museum for information.

Admission: Admission:
Adults - $8.00
Children 6-12 - $2.00
Seniors - $6.00
Group rates available.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday, 1:00 to 5:00 pm
Closed Holidays, and Mondays from Nov. 1 - Mar. 31
Address: 1905 S. Franklin
Phone: 785-462-4590
Our Email:

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Prairie Museum of Art & History

The Museum has been dubbed "one of the finest museums in the Midwest" by KANSAS!

Colby, KS Museums

"Spirit of the Prairie" Sculpture

This representation of the steadfast spirit of the early pioneers that led the way into the frontier stands in front of the Thomas County Courthouse. Artist - Charles Norton, 1985, from Leoti, Kansas

Colby, KS Arts

Biggest Barn in Kansas

The Cooper Barn is one of the largest barns in Kansas and holds a wealth of Thomas County History. The cattle barn was built in 1936 and was part of the Foster Farms operation. The barn is 66 feet wide, 114 feet long and 48 feet high. It was moved to the site in 1992 and houses the exhibit "

Colby, KS Museums

The Eller House

The Eller House, displaying typical furniture, clothing, and objects, tells of farm life in the 1930s. The house was built in 1906 in Colby, was moved to a farm south of town in 1917 and was moved to the museum site in 1981.

Colby, KS Museums

Nicol School

The one-room Nicol School building symbolizes the cultural and social importance of education to the pioneers. It represents the 94 one-room rural schools that once graced the landscape in Thomas County.

Colby, KS Historic Schoolhouses

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