Museum program to feature King Alfonso

A photo depicting King Alfonso X of Spain, an image dating to 1129-1255. The image and others will be shown during the upcoming Evening at the Museum program at the Finney County Historical Museum.

By Steve Quakenbush, Executive Director Finney County Historical Society

Conny Bogaard, Ph.D., and Debra Bolton, Ph.D., will present a joint pre-holiday program for the next “Evening at the Museum” offering scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 21 in the meeting room of the Finney County Historical Museum, 403 S. Fourth St.

Admission is free, with dessert and beverages provided. Those who attend should use the north entrance of the museum and are welcome to bring their own dinner, if desired.

The November program is entitled “Las Cantigas de Santa Maria,” focusing in part on King Alfonso X of Spain.

The Christian ruler led a tolerant society and royal court where Muslim, Jewish and Christian people coexisted in harmony.

Known as “El Sabio,” the medieval leader ruled by drawing on his faith and the teachings of the Virgin Mary. The presenters believe present-day Finney County, known for its own cultural diversity, reflects many of the same concepts.

Dr. Bolton and Dr. Bogaard are planning to incorporate visual arts, poetry and live music. Both have offered previous presentations in the series.

Bolton staged “Native American Heritage” in October, drawing on her studies and her own native heritage. Bogaard provided “From Passover to the Resurrection: The Passion of Christ in Art,” sharing pictures last April of historic Christian art over the span of 2,000 years.

Bolton, a specialist with Kansas State University Research and Extension, serves 26 Southwest Kansas counties. She is a human ecologist, certified family life educator and geographer as well as a musician. She recently earned a research and exploration grant from the National Geographic Society.

Bogaard, executive director of the Western Kansas Community Foundation, holds a master of arts in history and a doctorate in philosophy, aesthetics and art theory, with a specialization in museum studies. She took charge of the WKCF in 2015 and is preparing a book for publication on the role museums have played in the history of human consciousness.

The Evening at the Museum series, now in its fourth year, offers a different session each third Tuesday of the month, September through November and January through April.  The lectures are hosted by the Finney County Historical Society and sponsored by the Southern Council of the AT&T Pioneers.