Adopt an Artifact

This campaign ended on October 13, 2019, but you can still make a gift to Western Kentucky University by clicking here!

Meet Nunu, an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus. She is over 4,000 years old, dating to the New Kingdom period of Ancient Egypt, when legends like Ramses the Great and Tutankhamen lived. 

Since the 1940s, she has called the Kentucky Museum home. You may have walked by her in our Decorative Arts gallery. Since the 1940s, she has helped welcome over 30,000 artifacts who now call us "home." At one point, we were able to provide for all of our artifacts...

“Nunu,” Child’s Sarcophagus, No. 1974.4.1, adopted by ServiceOne Credit Union.

But now, they need your help. The Museum relies entirely on public donations to care for artifacts like Nunu, ensuring they remain on display and in good condition (a process called "conservation").

Will you adopt one of Nunu's 30,000 friends?

It’s super easy—make a donation to this campaign! You can even choose your artifact by looking at this list and including the object number in the notes section of the donation form. We have several levels available:

  • $20 - 1 artifact in Political Memorabilia
  • $30 - 1 artifact in Toys and Games
  • $50 - 1 artifact in Sports 
  • $100 - 1 artifact in Business, Doll, Music, or Science & Technology collections
  • $250 - 1 artifact in Fine, Folk, and Decorative Art collection
  • $500 - 1 Quilt and Historic Textile collection
  • $1,000 - 1 Clothing (Historic Costume) collection

Your support ensures Nunu and her friends can keep being used in exhibits, classroom close studies for students, and fun research projects. You’ll also get to see your name on your artifact’s online and in-exhibit labels, and get an adoption certificate. Best of all, you get the warm fuzzy feeling of helping preserve their stories for future generations.

P.S. Prefer to give via check? 

Make your check payable to WKU Foundation, with a note for ‘Adopt-an-Artifact’ and the object number, then drop it off at the museum or mail to:

                Kentucky Museum

                Attn: Tiffany Isselhardt

                1906 College Heights Blvd #11092

                Bowling Green, KY 42101

Frequently Asked Questions

(1) How do I choose an artifact?

You can let us choose...

...or you can choose! Our adoption list contains instructions for finding an artifact in a specific collection. You can scroll for an artifact that matches your preferences. When you find it, go to the giving form and either (a) click on the button for our suggested level or (b) input a custom amount for the type of artifact you want to adopt. Add the artifact's Object ID to the notes section, and make your gift.

(2) How will you use the money?

All money raised will be used for collections care and conservation in the short- and long-term. For example, we will hire professional conservators to assess and repair dresses in the Mrs. A. H. Taylor collection to ensure the garments are able to be displayed and studied in an upcoming exhibit. We also buy museum-quality boxes that help protect artifacts against water, pests, and other hazards during storage and transport. Funds are also used to match federal grants for major conservation projects, such as cleaning our contemporary artwork collection.

(3) What happens if you reach your goal?

We will keep going! We have over 30,000 artifacts in our collections, and hope to have every single one adopted. 

If you or someone you know would like to adopt an entire collection, or make a major gift for collections care, please contact Tiffany Isselhardt at 270-745-3369 or

(4) How can I help besides donating?

Share our campaign! Use the share buttons to send text messages and social media posts to your friends. Much like during our founding in 1939, the sharing of our campaign with friends and family is what guarantees our success.

(5) How can I learn more about what you’re doing?

Visit us! The Kentucky Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday from 9am to 4pm. We are located at 1444 Kentucky Street, Bowling Green, KY, on the campus of WKU. Parking is available on site and in the CVS lot across the street.

Or download our latest Annual Report on all the amazing things we do with our campus and community here:



US Donor Map

Donor affiliations

48% Alumni

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3% Students

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8% Parents

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45% Faculty/Staff

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24% Friends

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Donor list

a. gwynn henderson
Douglas and Tamela Smith
David and Laura Harper Lee
Mark & Ladonna Hunton
Kirsten Kellersberger
E Darlene Lara
Angela M. Jerome
Angela Jerome
Angela M. Jerome
Stan & Gretchen Herren
Dr. Sanju Gupta
Carrie Cox
Jeffrey A. Barefoot
Jeffrey A. Barefoot
Thomas Tyler Clark
Chad Carlton
Mike and Leigh
Tom and Portia Pennington
Christopher Johanson
Donna and Bruce Schulte
Katie Muchmore
Amy Ross
Lynne Anderson
Kristina Arnold
Anne E. McKee
Sally Kuhlenschmidt
Courtney R. Caulk

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Only 20 left!

Raise $250+ by sharing your advocate link, and we’ll list your name as the Adopter of an item in the Fine, Folk, and Decorative Art Collection.


Only 15 left!

Raise $500+ by sharing your advocate link, and we’ll list your name as the Adopter of a Quilt.


Only 10 left!

Raise $1,000+ by sharing your advocate link and we’ll list your name as the Adopter of a Historic Costume.