Central Library

Stump Speaking

Depicted here are men of a rural town gathered around to hear a campaigning politicians speak. In this iteration of the work, the speaking politician's figure transcends the crowd, further sticking out amongst the working men with his white suit coat and hair. He is in the process of responding to an inquiry from a gentleman before him in the crowd leaning on a cane with tattered clothing. The painting was part of Bingham’s Election Series, which depicted the still-evolving democratic political cycle in the United States in the mid-19th century.

Sunset 1966

This print evokes the feelings associated with with the sunset in its yellow background and the shadows that come in the black trailing splotches. The sun in the upper right-hand corner of the piece is surrounded by a scarlet ring to emphasize its glow and warmth. Beneath it is evidence of buildings that form a cityscape behind what appears to be a figure turned up at the sun. Its head, rendered as a crescent with an eye, reflects a similar form on the other side of the composition that is a black crescent surrounding a circular eye shape within it.

Terrarvm Orbis Geographica AC Hydrographic Tabvla Glass Bowl

This glass bowl is adorned with cartographic collage images. Three layers of concentric circles, comprised of maps from antiquity, cover the surface of this ornamental bowl. The text, "Terrarvm Orbis Geographica AC Hydrographic Tabvla," is centered at the bottom and top of the bowl. Mythical figures and map representations predominate the outer and secondary circular areas. The inner circle depicts map images only. The entire surface of the bowl is illuminated with rich color, apart from eight smaller areas of the collage, that are rendered in black and white.

Tete Volante

Christiaan Karel Appel, born April 25th, 1921, was a multi disciplined Dutch artist. Appel was a talented painter, sculptor, and poet. Appel began painting at the age of fourteen and attended the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam in the 1940s. Appel was one of the founders of the 1948 avant-garde movement CoBrA. Appel's talent as a sculptor achieved international fame, having works featured in MoMA and other museums worldwide. Appel derived much inspiration from primitive art and children’s drawings.

The American Architect and Building News - Apr. 9, 1887, The New England Building, KCMO

This drawing illustrates a street view of the New England Building located in downtown Kansas City designed by the architectural firm Bradlee, Winslow and Wetherell from Boston, Massachusetts. The building consists of seven stories and rendered in a Renaissance Revival style with ornate detailing on the facade, two-story oriel, stone masonry, and arched entryways. Kansas City also utilized the Renaissance Revival style in designing many downtown buildings.

The Commerical Club of Kansas City Banner

Leaders in Kansas City business have been involved in their city's larger civic life since the first settlers came here in the 1820s. The first formal organization, though, dates from 1856 when a small group of local businessmen established the first commercial organization of Kansas City for the purposes of general public improvement.

The County Election

"The County Election" was an oil painting created by Missouri artist George Caleb Bingham in 1852. This work depicts the civilian experience of democracy with a critique of the developing political system, a theme frequented by Bingham throughout his career. Accordingly, the civilians gathered in this work do so around the front steps of the courthouse from which the politician speaks, but is not seen. Meanwhile, a line forms to cast their ballot under a banner that reads "The Will of The People the Supreme Law".

The Departure from the Wood River Encampment

This print depicts the Lewis and Clark Expedition heading out on their journey west. There are three boats in view with the foremost occupied by Lewis and Clark themselves. They stand beneath a canopy pointing downriver while a crew of men powers the boat in that direction by rowing. Flags from the Early American colonies hang from each boat. The painting was originally titled "The Departure from the Wood River Encampment" an event that occurred on May 14th, 1804. Gary R. Lucy is a Missouri artist whose work focuses on historical themes and the realistic depiction of local wildlife.

The Fisher Boy

Alexander Harrison was an expatriate American painter who favored marine scenes of leisure and work life. He includes both in this painting of a young fisherman taking a break from the work that supplied the catch of fish at his feet. He leans against the wall behind him and hangs with one hand from a loop screw above in order to create a headrest with his arm. He appears dazed with eyes wide but focusing on nothing in particular. He balances a circular fishing device between his feet, one of which he's pulled out of his shoe to reveal a tattered sock.

The Flying Dutchman

In this silver gelatin print legendary shortstop Honus Wagner better known as "The Flying Dutchman" is the focal point. He is featured with outfielder Fred Clarke over home plate at a practice session in Hot Springs, Arkansas for a one time training camp of the Pittsburgh Pirates. George Gibson is the catcher. The following text, "The Carnegie Museum of Art" is centered at the top of the of the poster. Additional text below the black and white photograph cites, "The Flying Dutchman, Honus Wagner, Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop, Hot Springs Arkansas 1908."

The HMS Victory

This small scale reproduction celebrates the HMS Victory, notable for the role as Lord Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar on October 21, 1805. The original ship, by the Royal Navy rating system, was considered first-rate because of the continuous decks that contained 104 mounted guns.

The Jolly Floatboatmen

George Caleb Bingham was a Missouri artist active throughout the 19th century and is known for his genre paintings which depicted life on the American frontier, and particularly along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. This painting was the first of three with the same name completed by Bingham, each with a similar composition and subject matter. Here, a group of men sits atop a flatboat, the central most figure dances and is flanked by two other figures playing instruments while the other men lounge and observe.

The Kansas City Connection

"The Kansas City Connection" is an artist proof print and is numbered 25/50. "The Kansas City Connection" highlights major Kansas City figures including founding fathers, artists, architects, artworks, fountains, buildings, personalities, generals, and architectural elements. The well planned artistic composition provides a naturalistic grouping of the many different elements of Kansas City culture.

The Kansas City Stockyards Depiction

A black and white reproduction of a nineteenth century historic map of the Kansas City Stockyards, by C.F. Morse. The original work was published by L. H. Everts and Co. in 1887, for the Kansas State Atlas. Additional text on the piece includes "KANSAS CITY STOCK YARDS, KANSAS CITY, KANSAS, C.F. MORSE GENERAL MANAGER, H.P. CHILD SUPT, E.E. RICHARDSON TREAS & SEC."

The Library's First Bookcase

This antique Victorian style wooden bookcase was the first to be purchased for the Kansas City Public Library. It has five shelves and two lower drawers. Access to the shelving cabinet is gained through two doors comprised of glass and wood that swing outward. Each door contains four panes of glass. The base of the bookcase contains two drawers, each drawer is accessed by two wooden knobs, located to the right and left of each compartment. The bookcase has three locks, one for the shelving compartment and one for each drawer.

The Manchurian Swallowtail

Born in California, Bill Howe lived most of his life in Ottawa, KS, where he conducted a life long study of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) and translated his studies into paintings. He graduated from Oklahoma University and later studied at the Kansas City Art Institute to develop his command of the watercolor medium used for most of his field studies.

The National Agricultural Exposition Kansas City

A color lithograph advertising the National Agricultural Exposition held in Kansas City in 1887. This print celebrates the dedication and opening of an Industrial Building in the style of the Crystal Palace order. The Exposition Building is featured center with a thoroughfare depicting the traffic of horse drawn carriages, a trolley car and pedestrians strolling. To the left adjacent the other figures that are depicted include a locomotive engine, numbered 75, and the four muses of agriculture, art, literature and science.

The Priest of Pallas Ball Athena

An original promotional poster for the Priests of Pallas Masquerade Ball held on 21 October 2006 at the Kansas City Union Station. This poster depicts a seated figure, the representation of the Goddess Athena. This figure is resplendently dressed wearing a highly stylized floral print Victorian gown in different hues of gold, and blue. A many plumed helmet, the symbol of wisdom and strategy, accentuates the figures head. The plumage of the headpiece is depicted in an array of colors, including blue, brown, pink and purple.

The Priests of Pallas Ball (i)

An original promotional poster for the Priests of Pallas Masquerade Ball held on October 14th, 2005 at the Kansas City Union Station. The middle left of the print portrays an image of Minerva the Roman goddess of wisdom, strategic warfare, sponsor of arts, trade, and strategy. Surrounding the head of Minerva are descriptive text "MINERVA" and "ROMANA" that identify the persona of the figure. Below Minerva is an owl, a symbol associated with this Goddess to represent knowledge, wisdom, perspicacity and erudition.

The Rest Under Lilacs

Claude Monet was the founder of the French Impressionist movement which sought to express one's perception of nature through essence and the effect of light on forms. He often painted the same scene multiple times as it endured the effects of light differing over the course of a day. In this painting, he captured three figures lounging under a canopy of large lilac bushes. As their forms recess into the shadows cast beneath the bushes, their flowers project into a dense cloud of foliage across the painting.