Salina, KS

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Notorious Kansas Characters on Display

Todd PittengerFebruary 8, 2023

For just a few weeks, the Smoky Hill Museum will be showcasing its new traveling exhibit, Notorious, in the Museum’s lobby.

According to the museum, this revamped exhibit is based on a 2018 exhibit of the same name.

This exhibit focuses on a select bunch of colorful Kansas characters that have helped shaped the state we call home. Amongst those people, one can find a wide variety of individuals whose actions range from noble to downright despicable.

In many ways, the adjective notorious can be just as grey as the people it describes. In some instances, it’s used to pronounce someone in a negative manner, while other times it has been used to define anyone who is widely known. In this exhibit, the visitor is left to decide. Visitors will learn about people like John Brown, Dr. Brinkley, Bonnie and Clyde, Buffalo Bill  and the Bloody Benders, to name a few. Certain individuals are undoubtedly negative and the meaning of notorious is clear cut, while others leave you with a lasting debate.

Visitors will discover legend versus reality, how societal views shift with the passage of time and just how these notorious Kansans forever left their mark on the state. If that’s not enough, visitors can always count on a number of hands-on elements to get more into the story.

Museum and exhibit hours are Tuesdays through Fridays 11 am to 5:00 pm and Saturdays 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The exhibit is only on display in Salina through the month of February. It will then travel around the state to various venues. Check the museum’s website at to see a list of venues.

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2023. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.





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