Central Library

A Panoramic View of Kansas City from 9th and Main

This black and white photograph of Kansas City features several of the city's early historic buildings. Bold signs on buildings stand out amongst the structures, most notably the marking of the Westgate Hotel, the New York Life Building, and the New England Life Building in position to one another across the cityscape. The predominantly brick structures beneath the smoke stack driven haze of the skyline complete the image of an industrializing city.

A Tea Garden

George Morland was an English painter born on 26 June 1763 in London. He was best known for his rustic scenes of farming, hunting, smugglers, gypsies and his rich, textured landscapes. Morland's most popular works were painted specifically for the print trade. This scene of a cozy middle-class ease is set in Ranelagh Gardens where the public could take tea after an afternoon's walk. Its companion 'St James's Park' (Mellon collection) shows a similar family drinking the milk that could be bought by promenaders on the Mall.

A Victorian Birdhouse

This birdhouse was modeled after Victorian architecture with a tight, heightened layout that features a tower, multiple roof lines, gabled windows with window boxes, and a ground level porch. Circular 1 1/4 inch cutouts on the left and right sides of the house provide entry suitable for smaller bird species. The house has a number of other design features particular to its target inhabitants including ventilation sources, non-toxic resin and paint materials, a spacious interior and removable back wall for easy cleaning.

A Witness to the Light

Corita Kent joined the Order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1936 and became Sister Mary Corita. She spent much of her life working for the church and began making and teaching art in the 1940s. Her serigraph and screen prints became popular in the 1960s and 1970s when she began using popular culture and the backdrop for faith-based themes. In this particular print, Kent uses a popular soda brand, Sunkist, to advance the message "two men called John were sent by God" broken up and encapsulated by two limes. Four lemons line the bottom border.

Abstract Sculpture

This sculpture is one of a few in the library's collection by an unknown artist with the initials "CCC". Carved from a single piece of wood, this particular sculpture exhibits an impressive command of the wood carving practice. It calls on the cubist style's tendency of depicting fire in rough, prismatic forms that extend upward with an erratic intensity that appears captured and solidified. Each of the faces of these forms bears various carving techniques, altering the depth, width, and frequency of each mark made to comprise a single dynamic piece.

Abstract Sculpture Two

This is one of a few abstract sculptures in the collection by an unknown artist with the initials "CCC". This particular piece is comprised of two parts, each containing a brass post and hole feature that align with the other to hold the piece together. The lower piece keeps much of the original shape of the material with varying gouge marks around the sides and back. The larger top piece displays more thorough manipulation, with planes of gouge marks in various directions and three voids, two circular and one slot-shaped, that reveal open space on the backside of the sculpture.

Abstract Tree

Clarence E. Shepard was born in Cortland, New York and grew up in Clay Center, Kansas. He began his study of architecture at the University of Berkeley in the 1890s and then moved to Chicago to work in the studio of Frank Lloyd Wright. After the birth of his daughter, Shepard moved his family to Kansas City where he practiced architecture. In his career as an architect, he designed over six hundred homes in Kansas City, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and Minneapolis as well as churches.

American Architect & Building News, Oct. 15, 1887, Grace Church, KCMO (1)

This print is an architectural drawing of Grace Church, a Catholic church designed by architectural firm James and James. This drawing was an entry for the 1887 design competition for the church, although the entry chosen was Frederick Elmer Hill's, an architect in the New York firm McKim, Mead & White, and exists in Kansas City on 13th St. Beneath the architect's names in the bottom right-hand corner features the Latin phrase "IN HOC SIGNO VINCES" which translates to "In this sign thou shalt conquer".

American Architect & Building News, Oct. 15, 1887, Grace Church, KCMO (small)

This print is an architectural drawing of Grace Church, a Catholic church designed by architectural firm James and James. This drawing was an entry for the 1887 design competition for the church although the entry chosen was Frederick Elmer Hill's, an architect in the New York firm McKim, Mead & White, and exists in Kansas City on 13th St.

American Architect & Building News-Aug. 21, 1886-Office Building for Nathaniel Thayer, Esq.

A poster print of a building depicted in the American Architect & Building News periodical number 556. This print is a color copy of a pen and ink illustration featuring the office building of Nathaniel Thayer with a copyright date of 1886. This plan drawing features a five story Beaux-Arts style building, each floor contains multiple rows of windows, and the bottom floor appears to be a shop level. The fourth floor contains two arches with three windows apiece. Oriel windows are located on the third and fourth floor above the left entry door.

American Architect & Building News-Nov. 10, 1900-U.S. Post Office, KCK

This print of an architectural drawing depicts the U.S. Post Office in Kansas City, Kansas designed by architects James, Knox, and Taylor. The building type is monumental with massive arched windows and a slight protrusion from the base of the building. The roof is minimized and replaced by a rectangularity uniform to the rest of the building which emphasizes the massive quality. The scene is set before the issue's date, indicated by the dress of the figures and the date on the building, MDCCCI, 1801.

American Architect & Building News-Nov. 29, 1890-Suburban Belt Line Depot KCMO

This cover of the American Architect and Building News periodical features the Suburban Belt Line Depot in Kansas City, Missouri designed by architect H.C. Lindsly. The structure shown was originally rendered in pen, ink and watercolor. The integration of sketched lines, calculated detail and imaginative coloring show off the architectural qualities while also conveying the structure's potential in space. The building was styled in a Victorian/Renaissance Revival style with a series of monumental towers topped by pyramidal roofs.

Amish Country "Sarah"

The print "Amish Country" is of an original painting by the artist of a young Amish girl holding a white cat. She appears uncertain, if not upset, clutching the cat for comfort. Noël's website speaks to the impact of her Amish series with "Sensitive portraits of animals and Amish children made Noel a household name. The intimacy of the Amish children portrayed is not seen in mainstreamed American culture" (nanoel.com/artist). One is reminded of the raw emotional qualities that characterize children everywhere, in every community.

Archer On Horse In Landscape

The artist truly captured the romanticism and vigor of the moment with a stylistic prowess. This scene captures an archer on horseback, richly costumed-wearing a long robed coat, and fur lined hat. The figure holds himself nobly while leaning slightly forward with reins in one hand. He controls his mount masterfully and casually resting his other hand on his hip while grasping his bow. The artist made a great effort to reflect the armory of the horseman, including finely detailed quivered arrows, and a sheathed sword.

Architectural Drawing of a Gothic Skyscraper

A reproduction print of an architectural pencil sketch of a skyscraper with Gothic features. The drawing was reproduced from the Alfred E. Barnes Jr . Architectural Collection. Artist initials are listed as EMO in the lower right corner of the work. Additional text from the original sketch reads "HOIT PRICE & BARNES ARCHTS" and "Reproduced from the Alfred E. Barnes, Jr. Arcitectural Collection (KC004), Western Historical Manuscript Collection- Kansas City." The print is produced on textured paper.

Architectural Drawing of the New York Public Library

Located in New York City, Carrère and Hastings was one of the most significant Beaux-Arts Architecture firms in the United States. The architectural team ran a successful practice during the 1880s -1890s. The firm focused on designs for commercial buildings and elaborate homes. They gained notoriety in 1897 when the firm won the design competition for the New York Public Library. The print reproduction shown here is a proposal draft of the Fifth Avenue elevation of the New York Public Library.

Architectural Icons of Kansas City (Blue)

Below the blue and yellow printed "Kansas City" across the top of this piece is a synopsis of the city's most notable architectural monuments by 1981. Some are still standing and some have since been demolished, but altogether they compile a history of the city with major monuments enlarged along the border of the print and smaller notations nearer the center. At the center is a pen and ink artist's representation of the city's north-south axis that is flattened with the major monuments branching off of it.

Architectural Icons of Kansas City (Orange)

Below the orange and yellow printed "Kansas City" across the top of this piece is a synopsis of the city's most notable architectural monuments by 1981. Some are still standing and some have since been demolished, but altogether they compile a history of the city with major monuments enlarged along the border of the print and smaller notations nearer the center. At the center is a pen and ink artist's representation of the city's north-south axis that is flattened with the major monuments branching off of it.

Arthur Stillwell

Baby Portrait (i) and Cabinet Card

Like thousands of other families in the 19th century, the Hixons took advantage of photography as an affordable way to capture images of loved ones. During his own career, Hixon contributed to the development of a new, less formal type of studio portrait that emphasized individuality and personality rather than relying on standard props or formal poses. In this photograph, the wide-eyed baby is smiling and gazing in the viewer's direction. The floral backdrop provides depth to the photograph.

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