Central Library

Post Date: Thu, August 13, 2020

In Berman’s mind, information and knowledge flow like an unseen current between people and media in the library environment. This print is one of ten that visualizes this phenomenon in the ebb and flow of color across them. While the series has a cohesive visual effect when displayed together, each individual unit has its own unique characteristics. In the second of the series, streams of oranges and greens intersect and produce browns. Within each frame, the layering of color creates new shapes and hues that add to the overall flow of the work.

Post Date: Wed, May 15, 2019

These doors once defined the entry of the First National Bank building built in 1906 on 10th and Baltimore streets and what is now home to the Central Branch of the Kansas City Public Library. Local architects Wilder and Wright designed the building in a neo-classical style with heavy stone masonry and frontal colonnade that complemented the ornate bronze doors. At just over seven feet in height, the doors disguise their weight with intricate design and open space that allow one to essentially see through their structure.

Post Date: Sat, May 4, 2019

Jack Clifford, born Virgil James Montani, was originally from Geneo, Italy. Clifford’s vaudeville fame came from his live performances, both as an actor and dancer. Clifford was noted for his marriage to Evelyn Nesbit in 1916, and after a fifteen year separation ended in divorce in 1933. Clifford died on November 10, 1956, at the age of 76, in New York. In this portrait Clifford is captured in a relaxed atmosphere, seated with an opened newspaper on his lap. Clifford is attired in casual clothing, a white shirt, a black ribbon bow tie, suit vest and pinstripe pants.

Post Date: Wed, April 10, 2019

Orval Hixon was a Kansas City photographer whose artistic abilities out rivaled those of his contemporaries. Hixon was a master of his craft, summoning all his skill set to produce works capturing his subjects in profound poses. Hixon from an early onset pursued an interest in the arts. After learning he was color blind as a child, he followed a path into photography with his first camera purchased in 1898. In 1905 he paid a local photographer five dollars to work as an assistant for one month.

Post Date: Wed, June 12, 2019

"The Delinquents", a 1957 American dramatic cinematic film was written and produced by Robert Altman. The plot of this film follows two romantically involved teens, Scotty White and Janice Wilson through Kansas City amidst an era of hot rod gangs and youthful delinquency in the 1950's. The poster is noted for its high utilization of color saturation. Vibrant red is laid out in a triangular shape on the upper left corner of the poster. The lower right corner contains a concentrated yellow and each area is bordered by a solid blue.

Post Date: Wed, February 27, 2019

As stated on the upper left hand corner of the map, this map illustrates "the plan of the defences of the Western and North-Western Frontier, as proposed by Charles Gratiot, in his report of Oct. 31, 1837." The Frontier is at the western edge of the central Midwestern states: Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The Frontier is further defined by the regions inhabited by various Native American tribes who encountered the US military.

Post Date: Wed, August 26, 2020

In this August 1900 cover for Puck Magazine, a man blown up to the size and shape of a hot air balloon floats along with "Kansas City" and "Convention" ribbons framing his head. The man is Richard Croker, the then-president of New York City's Tammany Hall, a Democratic political organization. Just as the tip of Croker's toes are about to leave the ground, David B. Hill, a state Senator of the same party, runs after him holding a spear with a trailing ribbon that reads "NY State Democracy".

Post Date: Sat, September 19, 2020

George Lawrence was a commercial photographer that invented the "captive airship" a panoramic camera suspended in air by seventeen Conyne kites that enabled him to take stunning aerial panoramic photographs. Lawrence took pictures of cities across the United States and captured this one of Kansas City in 1907 from one thousand feet above Summit and 13th streets. Beneath the photograph Summit, Jefferson, 13th, and 14th streets are indicated along with a stamp that reads "Reproduced Especially for James M. Kemper".

Post Date: Wed, May 15, 2019

This image is from a page of the April 1929 issue of Aero Digest- a professional periodical covering the aircraft industry. The article focuses on the economy of the growing air transportation industry and Kansas City's potential to be the next "air metropolis". The article shows via a graphic representation that Kansas City's central location within the country gives it an advantage in the industry by being the "hub of vast areas". The image shows small planes radiating out from Kansas City to others all over the country.

Post Date: Sat, February 16, 2019

This reproduction of the September 7th, 1940 Liberty Magazine cover was an ode to Kansas City's booming economy. The Liberty Magazine was a general interest magazine published between 1924 to the end of 1950 and covered stories about politicians, celebrities, authors, and artists. The content provided insight into popular culture and politics. As the poster notes, major changes in Kansas City were afoot with a political "clean-up". In the background of the poster is the old Municipal Stadium located at Brooklyn Avenue and East 22nd Street where the minor league Kansas City Blues played.

Post Date: Sat, September 19, 2020

This is the second proposed master plan for business and industry areas in Kansas City generated in 1946. The gridded map indicates business in red and industry in gray areas on the map that correspond to a key in the lower right-hand corner.

Post Date: Sat, September 19, 2020

This map lays out the ninth Proposed Master Plan of the Downtown Area and was generated in 1946. The plan's primary feature is the expressway loop surrounding the gridded area. Existing and proposed parking arrangements, public spaces, street improvements, freeways, and tunnels are indicated in the legend with corresponding color and pattern on the map.

Post Date: Sat, September 19, 2020

This is the eighth proposed master plan for future land use and population density in Kansas City generated in 1946. The gridded map indicates single and two family housing as well as low and high apartments, retail business, light and heavy industry areas, and public and semi-public areas. Each element is color or pattern coordinated and corresponds to a legend in the lower right-hand corner of the map.

Post Date: Sat, September 19, 2020

This is the fifth proposed master plan for public schools in Kansas City generated in 1946. The gridded map indicates elementary, junior high, and high schools on the map by circles sized small, medium, and large respectively. The map differentiates the location of existing schools in green as well the "proposed" in red and "to be abandoned" in yellow, as illustrated by the legend in the lower right-hand corner. The legend does not mention neighborhood districts but each is delineated and named on the map itself.

Post Date: Sat, September 19, 2020

This is the first proposed master plan for residential areas in Kansas City generated in 1946. The gridded map indicates needed redevelopment, rehabilitation, conservation, and protection along with proposed neighborhood and community boundaries. Each element is color or pattern coordinated and corresponds to a legend in the lower right-hand corner of the map.

Post Date: Wed, April 14, 2021

Hickory Chair Company released a James River Plantation Collection line inspired by the 18th-century antiques found in homes along the Virginia James River plantation. This Pembroke side table pairs a rich mahogany finish with a sleek design. The table includes double drop leaf features that, when stabilized with swivel arms below, complete the oval top. The front legs brandish an inlaid patera design bordering the single bowed front drawer. Simple brass hull hardware reveals ‘Historical James River Plantation, Hickory Chair Company’ branded on the floor of the drawer.

Post Date: Wed, April 14, 2021

This 19th-century dining table would have been used in elite settings, likely for large gatherings and dinner parties. Already a sprawling 84 inches in length, the table expands by two underlying leaflets to 156 inches. Two cranks hidden below the lip of the tabletop lock the leaflets in place or mobilize them to be pulled out. The heaviness of the table reinforces the idea of excess and bounty that would have been displayed on here. Ornate repetitive woodwork complements the weight of the piece yet while accentuating the wealth necessary to acquire it.

Post Date: Sat, September 12, 2020

This side table's smooth upper surface caps a wealth of intricacy below. Starting with the band that foots the tabletop, shields, vases plush with foliage, and scrolling elements carved in high relief span the half-moon shape and give way to two supporting legs. The legs' alternate smooth, slender segments with globes carved with more high-relief detail. A sequence of ram faces protrudes from each of the upper globes with ribbons threading their horns. The lower globes are more subtle with sequences of four-leaf floral cameos.

Post Date: Sat, September 5, 2020

This 19th century pedestal table is a beautiful combination of dark stained wood and glass and is accompanied by four chairs. The pedestal refers to the one "leg" in the center which holds the glass tabletop. The pedestal is comprised of a simple geometric base with a squarish form. As the eye moves up toward the center of the pedestal, one is greeted by an intricate carving of four lion heads enmeshed within a field of leaves. The top of the base is a small circular design echoed within the larger circular design of the glass tabletop.

Post Date: Sat, March 9, 2019

This painting purportedly looks down 8th Street in Kansas City. Buildings are colorful yet rendered in muted tones contrasting darkly coated pedestrians at their bases. Cars trail off in the distance and merge with the painting's Impressionistic style into an overcast sky. This work is noted as being painted for the W.P.A. (Works Progress Administration). The W.P.A.