Central Library

Baby Portrait (ii)

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 featured baby is smiling wide-eyed against a floral backdrop.

Baroque Sideboard

The massive Baroque style sideboard is adorned with ornamental flourishes and whimsical creatures on the front side. The finish is dark in color and shines with an almost bronze quality. The sideboard contains two drawers and two cabinets separated by three columnal outcroppings.

Beach and Kite #3

This piece envelops its viewer in a warm and breezy day along a quiet, coastal beach. What appears at first as pleasing striations of blue and yellow with a curious shape up top develop into a beach scene with the familiar kite undulating in the wind. Ironically, the kite looks quite like a royal blue tang (Paracanthurus hepatus), a common marine fish one can imagine being in the water below. Painterly strokes suggest the change in blue hues in the water and sky alike while slashes of yellow and black near the center signify the beach.

Bellagio Promenade

Howard Behrens was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1933. Behrens grew up near Washington D.C. , and started drawing at the age of seventeen after being bed ridden from a sledding accident. Behrens earned a Master's degree in painting and sculpture from the University of Maryland. He traveled extensively, proliferating his talent and developing new techniques. Behrens was renowned as a palette knife artist, through his rich, distinctive and textured style.


Keith Mallett, born on 7 October 1948, is an American multi-disciplined artist. Mallett's is an experienced painter, etcher and ceramic artist. Mallett's subject matter ranges from figurative to still life and abstracts. "Beloved" has all the hallmarks of Mallett's figurative work. Here a mother cradles a child to her bosom, as she gazes down lovingly on her infant. The child is swaddled in a brightly colored floral print, with predominant colors of red, green, orange and yellow. The white background accentuates and defines the figures in the foreground.

Bingham's Order No. 11

"Order No. 11", originally painted by George Caleb Bingham, depicts a scene of turmoil taking place during the Civil War. Tensions regarding abolition were high between Kansans and Missourians in the Western Missouri counties. Union General Thomas Ewing Jr. proposed General Order No. 11 to placate the unrest. The order sought to end the fighting by vacating the affected counties completely. Bingham, although pro-Union, was appalled by the prospect and threatened General Ewing with the words "If you execute this order, I shall make you infamous with pen and brush." And this he did.

Bird's Eye View of Kansas City

This panoramic bird's eye view map of Kansas City offers a multi-faceted interpretation of the area depicted. The vantage point characterizes the cartographic style popular for in the 19th century which abandoned scale to depict major developments and expansion possibilities. This map hybridizes a 3D topographical depiction of the area with 2D gridline streets.

Black Iris III

Georgia O'Keefe has been recognized as the "Mother of American Modernism". The iris was favored by O'Keefe and played a key role in her work for many years. In Black Iris III, the representation abstracts the subject matter by enlarging the petals far beyond life size. The medium for the original painting was oil on canvas and is dated 1926.

Blue & White Quiltscape

Rebecca Barker is a painter from Ohio whose "childhood appreciation for quilts and country life inspires the subjects she paints today" (-www.barkerquiltscapes.com). Each quiltscape takes a quilt pattern and pairs its color palette with an accompanying landscape. Here, a red, white, and blue starburst patterned quilt hangs on a laundry line outside. Beyond it are rows of a crop and farm on the horizon that is framed by the clothespins holding the quilt in place.


This pair of bookends has a deceiving quality as its cast iron (and thus weighty) fabrication is disguised by flora inspired embellishments. The pieces maintain their dark slate color with silver coloring worn onto the edges of the embellishments. The design rests on a low-profile "L" shape. There is discreet foam matting on the bottom side to protect against placement damage.


A matching set of cast iron ornamental bookends. These classical style bookends feature a green patina, and have an intricate leaf and swirl design. Each pair of the ornamental bookend portions are anchored to an "L" shape black base with a discreet foam matting for placement protection.

Bos Americanus

The Punch Magazine, or London Charavari, was a satirical British weekly magazine established in 1841. This large scale reproduction of the original cartoon depicts a caricature of an American Bull, mapped out into marketable cuts of meat, tossing a British butcher into the air. A knife sharpener and current prices of meat are splayed out around the butcher. Centered at the bottom of the piece are the words "'Bos Americanus;' or Yankee Beef and British Butcher." The work referenced the impact of British reliance on Northern American beef which increased during the 1870s.

Bring Downtown BACK!

"Bring Downtown BACK!-New Arena Symbolizes New Day for Kansas City" is an enlarged reproduction print depicting a paid political advertisement that ran in the August 2nd, 2004 issue of the Kansas City Star. The advertisement notes it was paid for by Citizens for a Downtown Arena, Lee A. Moore, C.P.A., Treasurer. The graphics include a caricature of the downtown landscape which highlights many architectural landmarks such as the Kauffman Center of Performing Arts, River Market area, Sprint Center, Union Station, Western Auto, etc.

Bronze Renaissance Bowl

The use of bronze became popular in 15th century Europe as a means to bridge ornament in sculpture with a faster rate of production. Artists employed the lost-wax method where wax models of sculpture would be encased by a mold wherein molten bronze would be poured over the wax model and once set the wax would be melted out, leaving a bronze production of the sculpture. With reusable molds and the availability and durability of bronze this method allowed artists to reproduce sculpture and objects like this serving bowl at a faster rate and higher quantity for a flourishing Europe.

Bronze Sculpture of Ilus W. Davis

Ilus W. Davis served as the mayor of Kansas City from 1963 to 1971. He was one of the first students to attend the city's university, which would later become the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and later got his law degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia. Some of his major contributions as mayor included the building of the Kansas City International Airport and the initial construction for the Truman Sports Complex. After the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

Burmese Ceremonial Vessel

This is a replica of a ceremonial Hsun-ok vessel of Burma (Myanmar) that has been used for centuries to carry offerings to Buddhist monasteries. Historically, the vessel originates from the Pagan region in Burma. The lacquering technique used for this particular vessel applies numerous coats of black lacquer followed by layers of red lacquer over thin strips of bamboo which creates a lightweight vessel ideal for carrying long distances. A beautifully aged patina develops over time as a result of the lacquer process.

Bust of Dante

Dante Alighieri, born 1265, was one of the greatest Italian poets during the late Middle Ages. Dante Alighieri , commonly known as Dante, was the touchstone for establishing the literature of Italy. His representations of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven was influential for the larger body of Western art. Dante is best known for his literary classic “The Divine Comedy” which was widely considered to be the preeminent work in classic Italian literature. The epic work was completed one year prior to Dante’s death in 1321. This ceramic bust captures a typical representation of Dante Alighieri.

Bust of John Barber White

This bronze bust depicts the lumber baron, John Barber White, and rests atop a green marble pedestal. John Barber White, researched and published his family genealogy and spent years collecting the finest books on genealogy and American history. In 1933, ten years after White's death, his descendants donated this collection to the Kansas City Public Library. This donation greatly enhanced the Missouri Valley Room's genealogical collection. Donated along with the volumes from his genealogical library was this bronze bust of White.

Bust of Thomas Hart Benton

This bust of Missouri native Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975) depicts the artist in his last years. Coe's articulate rendering of Benton's facial dimensions, with eyes deep-set beneath a furrowed brow, accurately achieves the intense gaze with which Benton is often pictured. Being from a mostly rural southwestern area of Missouri, Benton is most known for his mural sized paintings depicting the lives of working-class people. To date, he is regarded as one of the greatest American painters of the 20th century.

Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose

This print of John Singer Sargent's "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose" depicts two young girls lighting lanterns amongst a haze of flowers. This was one of the few paintings Sargent made outdoors in the Impressionist style and it had a unique production technique as a result. In order to capture the right lighting, Sargent was only able to work a few minutes each evening before which he would set up all of his materials, place his models, and then paint for the few minutes he could.