About the Museum

About The Stauth Memorial Museum

 

The Stauth Memorial Museum’s Mission

The purpose of the museum is to preserve for public education and enjoyment the Stauth Memorial Collection of artifacts and slides from around the world, and to provide cultural enrichment for the community through special exhibitions and programs.

For more information about the Stauth Memorial Museum and any of our collections or to schedule a tour, contact us or call 620.846.2527.

Admission

Admission is always free to the Stauth Memorial Museum, but donations are gratefully accepted to cover the rising costs of rental fees and shipping expenses of traveling exhibits. If you are interested in making a donation, you can help support us here.

The History

The Stauth Memorial Museum opened on February 24, 1996 with approximately 650 visitors on opening day. Since opening, it has hosted well over 120,000 visitors that have come from every county in Kansas, all 50 states and more than 62 foreign countries. The Stauths were farmers as well as travelers so a remembrance of their lives and work is seen in the building design of the Stauth Memorial Museum. The outside of the building was designed to evoke the silhouette of a Western Kansas farmstead as seen from a distance. The arch and vault are reminiscent of Southwest and Hispanic influences of the area. The exterior and interior colors and materials recall the earth, water, grass, sky and clouds present in Montezuma. It is here that Claude and Donnie left their entire collection of artifacts, souvenirs, slides and estate to “their family”- the citizens of Montezuma, and any who enter and wish to spend time in “their world.”

The Collections of the Stauth Memorial Museum

The Stauth’s traveled to 95 countries on six continents and collected many artifacts and souvenirs along the way. The Around The World collection is comprised of their artifacts including; indigenous art, musical instruments, costumes, animal statues, tribal hunting weapons, ivory carvings, jewelry, rugs & wall textiles. The collection also includes over 10,000 slides that the Stauth’s took all over the world. Learn more about the Around the World collection or take a look at the Stauth’s Photo Gallery for a glimpse at their amazing travels.

The Fry Wildlife Collection includes North American game animals, a polar bear and exotic game animals including former record breaking specimens. Learn more about the Fry Wildlife Collection.

The Wall Western Collection consists of 19 authorized Frederic Remington miniature bronzes plus the bronzes of several other well known western artists. Learn more about the Wall Western Collection.

Gallery Tours

Personal guided tours are available to every visitor to the museum. Visitors are guided through the various collections and exhibits of the Stauth Memorial Museum and are given a verbal history and story behind the various galleries and artifacts that they contain. Written or verbal Scavenger Hunts are also available for school groups.

Special Exhibitions Gallery

Our Special Exhibitions Gallery is the largest exhibit space in the museum and showcases new and exciting exhibits that change approximately every six to eight weeks. These exhibits feature anything and everything from famous photographs to artwork to interactive displays and hands-on learning opportunities. The exhibits come from well known exhibit sources like National Geographic, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibit Service (SITES), and many others. See what’s on display now.

Schedule A Tour

We request that all groups of five or more call in advance to schedule a tour. Scheduling a tour ensures that there are enough staff members available to make your trip to the Stauth Memorial Museum as educational and enjoyable as possible. To setup a tour time for your group, contact us today!

About the Building

The Stauths farmed for many years and the location of the Museum is in the middle of a farming area. The Stauth Memorial Museum building was designed to represent the silhouette of a farmstead. The round shapes on the south and west side of the building have the resemblance of grain bins. The office and equipment rooms jutting off the main building resemble small sheds, all familiar buildings one might view on a farm. The arch and vault are reminiscent of Southwest and Hispanic influences of the area. The exterior and interior colors and materials are representational of the earth, water, grass, sky, and clouds present in Montezuma and Southwest Kansas.

The structure not only houses the four exhibit areas, but also houses a unique Community Room. Donnie wanted a place for her Bridge Club to play so the Trustees and Architect designed the Community Room to serve as a valuable meeting place for the community. The room’s unique round shape creates wonderful natural acoustics. It is equipped with a full size theater screen and is large enough for theater seating of 100 or table seating for 60. A podium with a microphone is also available. The Community Room is available for clubs, civic organizations, workshops, seminars, lectures or other educational events. Learn more about the Community Room or contact us to reserve the room for your educational event.

The Stauth Memorial Museum is ADA and wheelchair accessible. There is parking on the north and west sides of the building as well as across the street. Bus and RV parking is available. The museum has a water fountain and the cleanest restrooms in Southwest Kansas.

About the Staff

The Executive Director of the Stauth Memorial Museum is Kim Legleiter. Kim has been at the helm since the museum opened in 1996. She is in charge of the permanent collection, coordinating and setting up of all special exhibits, as well as the day to day operations. She continues the Stauths’ vision to bring the world and it’s cultures to Montezuma and Southwest Kansas.

The Assistant Director, Raechelle Romero, is in charge of office operations and visitor relations. Feel free to call Raechelle with any questions you have regarding the museum, scheduling a group or school tour or community room activity or event.

News About the Stauth Memorial Museum

Visit our Press Room, to see publicity about the Stauth Memorial Museum and all temporary and traveling exhibits. Prior to each new exhibit opening or museum event, articles are sent to all local and regional newspapers, TV and radio stations. If you would like to be added to this publicity schedule, contact Kim Legleiter at 620.846.2527 or stauthm@ucom.net.

About Montezuma & The Surrounding Area

Montezuma is located in Gray County, Kansas, which is 25 miles southwest of the infamous Dodge City on US 56. The town was founded in 1879 and relocated in 1912 to accommodate the Santa Fe Railroad. There are approximately 966 residents of Montezuma.

The city is also home to:

  • the Gray County Wind Farm – the 1st wind farm in Kansas
  • The South Gray Rebels High School & USD 371
  • Eva’s Kitchen
  • D & B Market
  • Just For You
  • Montezuma Drug
  • Presto & Subway
  • And Other Great Attractions. See what’s nearby!

Surrounding cities include, Copeland, Ensign, Cimarron, Ingalls, Dodge City, and Garden City.

If your interested in learning more about the Stauth Memorial Museum or the surrounding area, contact us, today!

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