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:

Come visit us in Colby, Kansas

Attractions and Upcoming Events

"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

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Colby Parks

Villa High Park is truly the "Oasis on the Plains". This park, consisting of 40 acres, was created in the late 1960`s with the aid of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.

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Northwest Kansas Research Extension Center

The Northwest Kansas Research Center is a photo opportunity with its rich array of trees and flowers all identified for visitors who are always welcome.

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Thomas County Courthouse

Built in 1906, Thomas County Courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Romanesque Revival style building is graced by the "Spirit of the Prairie"

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Sod House

The sod house shows the ingenuity of the homesteaders. The late 19th century dwelling exhibits furniture, clothing and other artifacts of pioneer life on the prairie. Volunteers constructed the sod house in 1984. Sod blocks, 1 foot by 2 feet by 4

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Things to do Museums near Colby, KS