Skip to Main Content
You are in the main content
Cover Photo Image

About the Lisanby

Located in the lower level of the Festival Conference and Student Center in room 1108, the James and Gladys Kemp Lisanby Museum houses rotating exhibits drawn from the Madison Art Collection. 

Hours & Parking: The Lisanby closes Thursday, 4/30/15
The Lisanby is open during the fall and spring semesters Monday through Friday from 10am-4pm.  Non-JMU Visitor Metered Parking is now available across the street from Festival in Lot C12 behind the bus stop.

Group visits
Contact Mrs. Melanie Brimhall ( or 540-568-2661) to schedule a group visit for 30 people or less.  Please indicate if you wish a guided tour.

Study Center
Featuring objects from the ancient world to the present day, these cases display pieces from Africa, America, Asia, and Europe. Faculty may request specific objects to be included for the upcoming academic year by contacting Dr. Kate Stevens ( or 540-568-5577) before August.

On Exhibit

Dolley Madison: The First, First Lady
Sponsored by The Madison Institutes
Exhibit Dates: 3/16/15 - 4/30/15

Dolley Madison, who would later be dubbed the first First Lady at her funeral by Zachary Taylor, served the diplomatic corps as the wife of the secretary of state and fourth president. Born into a Quaker family, Dolley seamlessly took on the role of James Madison’s wife, political partner, and official hostess. During the British invasion of Washington City in 1814 – the climax of the War of 1812 – Dolley remained resolute, ensuring that national treasures, including state papers, select furnishings, and the Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington were removed from the President’s House and out of reach of the British attackers. One year prior to the invasion, Dolley affirmed in a letter to Edward Coles: “I have always been an advocate for fighting when assailed, tho a Quaker – I therefore keep the old Tunesian Sabre within my reach.”

Curated by Outreach & Engagement's Madison Institutes in conjunction with James Madison Week, this exhibit examines the life of Dolley Madison. The exhibit will include items on loan from James Madison's Montpelier, such as Dolley's Bible and hand-written biography of James Madison, as well as artifacts from the university's own collection.

Upcoming Exhibits (Fall 2015 through Spring 2016)

Bridge of Dreams: Buddhism, History, and Society in the Ukiyo-e Prints of Edo Japan
Exhibit Dates: 9/7/15 - 10/16/15
About the Exhibition:  Ukiyo is Japanese for “the floating world,” describing the exotic pleasures found in the red-light district of Edo.  It is also a homophone for “the sorrowful world” from which Buddhists desired escape. Ukiyo-e form the bridge, as visions captured in elegant prints, between these two worlds.

Woman, Behold Your Son: Images from the Life and Death of Jesus Christ
Exhibit Dates: 10/26/15 - 12/11/15
About the Exhibition: The life of the divine Christ, from the nativity to the crucifixion, exemplifies the doctrine of Christianity.  But it is through his interactions with Mary his mother, Mary Madeleine, and his close disciples that his humanity is best seen.  This exhibit explores Christian iconography of the 16th through the 19th centuries as it seeks to express the complex nature of Jesus Christ.

Coming Forth By Day: Life and Death in Ancient Egypt
Exhibit Dates: 1/18/16 - 2/26/16
About the Exhibition: The popular image of ancient Egypt focuses on its funerary rituals and burial practices, particularly as dramatized by cinema and television.  A closer look reveals not a culture obsessed with death but with continued existence both on earth and in the afterworld.

James Madison
Exhibit Dates: 3/15/16 - 4/28/16
About the Exhibition:  Curated by Outreach & Engagement's Madison Institutes in conjunction with James Madison Week, this exhibit examines the life and work of our university's namesake and father of the US constitution.  The exhibit will include items on loan from James Madison's Montpelier as well as artifacts from the University's own collection.