26 Caroline Peine Curatorial Center

By Anne de Noble

Caroline Peine smiling.
Caroline Peine, nd, unknown photographer

The Peine (pronounced “Pine”) family is among the most long-standing benefactors of Kansas State University. Arthur and Josephine Peine both arrived on campus in 1916. He joined the faculty of the history department, and Josephine was a faculty member in the Division of Home Economics. The couple was married in 1919. They shared a deep appreciation of the arts and made a gift to the university towards an art museum prior to Arthur’s death in 1971. This was many years before the idea of the museum was conceived.

Arthur and Josephine had two children, Perry and Caroline. Perry was born in 1923 and received his degree in civil engineering in 1943. Perry married K-State graduate Virginia Howenstine Peine, and they have three daughters. Virginia graduated with a bachelor’s degree in home economics in 1944. Caroline was born in 1925. She received her bachelor’s degree in modern languages from Carleton College (Minnesota) and returned to Manhattan earning a master’s degree in English in 1951. After working out of state for a short while, Caroline returned to Manhattan and in 1961 was named assistant dean of students and director of the Women’s Resource Center. She held these two positions until her retirement in 1990. The following is a quote from Caroline’s obituary that details her strong ties to Kansas State University: “From attending nursery school at K-State in the 1930s until her retirement 60 years later, Caroline Peine’s life was intertwined with the university.”

The Peine family has given generously to the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art with several named spaces at the Museum. In recognition of these gifts, the museum is now home to the Peine Curatorial Center for the conservation and research of the university collection.

In 1998 Caroline established the Caroline Peine Museum Endowment which provides discretionary funds for the art museum. The museum has also received three grants from the Manhattan Fund – Caroline Peine Charitable Foundation which exists to improve quality of life in the city of Manhattan. These grants funded the training of teachers through a VTS grant, assisted with programming for the Sayaka Ganz and Thrift Style exhibitions, and enhanced outreach programs for seniors by funding improved technology. Lastly, Caroline gifted three works of art by John Helm, Jr., and her mother, Josephine, gifted a Birger Sandzén lithograph.

Perry and Virginia provided funding for the restrooms in the new wing of the addition. They have also established the Perry and Virginia Peine Construction Science Scholarship, created the Virginia Peine Food to Celebrate Life Project, and funded the Peine Gate at 17th Street and Anderson Avenue. Virginia said, “If you are in a position to give something now, why would you wait? It is nice to be able to meet our scholarship recipients, visit the Beach Art Museum, and now the gate.”


Visiting researcher sitting at desk with computer and utilizing the reference material.
Visiting researcher utilizing Peine Curatorial Center resource materials, 2021, Beach Museum of Art staff photograph


Students evaluating works on paper with Elizabeth Seaton, museum curator.
Students evaluating works on paper with Elizabeth Seaton, museum curator, 2018, Kansas State University, Communications and Marketing


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Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art at 25: People and Spaces by Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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