Central Library

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

"Sublime spirit! Vast and profound genius! Divine being! Accept the homage of my weak talents...Oh, Newton!" With these words, French architect and designer Étienne-Louis Boullée dedicated his design for an imaginary cenotaph (empty tomb) in honor of the English physicist Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727). Like many intellectuals of his day, Boullée was fascinated by Newtonian physics.

"The Maple Leaf Route" map is a print which features the rail exchange between Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Chicago with all the included stops between each. The bold print lines on the map imitate the veins of a maple leaf, exhibiting the imagery that inspired the route's name. The bottom of the print mentions W. H. Long as the City Passenger and Ticket Agent of the Des Moines City Office and T. N. Hooper as the Division Freight Agent.

This sculpture of a young girl on a rocking horse reminds one of the joys of childhood playtime, but also its woes. There is no mistaking the girl's contempt as it settles into her furrowed brow and pouty lip, although one can assume it would have been short-lived and forgotten with more play. She wears a simple white dress, a matching white hair bow and knee-high socks with Mary Jane shoes. With her beady glare and both hands gripping the rocking horse handles, she appears determined to take off on the horse from her troubles.

The sculpture depicts a seated child presumably reading a small book. However, the way the child is seated, clumsily plopped down, suggests that the child may be exploring the book with the unkempt wonder of their own mind and not yet reading it. The sculpture reminds the viewer of this period of time in every person's life and perhaps further suggests how it extends as one grows older and is able to read the book, although still enjoying the wonders of imagination.

Southhampton Antiques describes this piece as a rare miniature Renaissance Revival Victorian walnut two door bookcase. Although small, it portrays a sense of substantial mass through a heavy base with minimal ornament. The cabinet doors are arched with thick black molding surrounding the original glass. Within the cabinets are two original adjustable shelves that provide a clear display of the inner contents, held safe by the wooden exterior. The novelty of this piece is its size, as it has all the same quality attributes of similar pieces often two times as large.

This is a photograph from behind the bronze statue of Sir Winston Churchill in London's Parliament Square. From this angle the photograph creates the sense that Churchill is stepping past the viewer leading their gaze to the icon of the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben. Also from this angle one gets the sense that this statue of Churchill is larger than life, perhaps even larger than Big Ben, clearly expressing its twelve foot height and the legacy that the late Prime Minister left on the UK.

This photograph features City Hall in downtown Kansas City illuminated under an inky night sky. The building is located at 414 East 12th Street, Kansas City, Mo. The building is monumental and angular with an unmistakable air of bureaucracy. The building is the third city hall since the incorporation of the city of Kansas in 1853. Construction lasted for 22 months and the concrete was supplied by then-political boss Tom Pendergast. Its location has served as the city's center for government since 1937.

This print depicts a painting by Missouri-born artist Charles Goslin created in 1997. The piece features the steamboat Silverbow gliding past the Gilliss House and a wine and liquor store to its right. A covered wagon and oxen bridge the top of the bank, setting this picture along with the steamboat around 1855. Steam billows up from the stacks of the Silverbow and trail back down the direction of the river on which more steamboats are floating in the background.

Richard Estes was born in 1932 in Kawee, Illinois. He is best known for his photo-realist paintings that typically reflect appear hyper realistic in the forms of geometric and inanimate landscapes. Estes is considered one of the founders of the international photo-realist movement of the 1960s. This is a limited edition print of Richard Estes iconic work "Corner of a Bank". The composition is dominated by repeating geometric pattern and sharp lines. The only organic element exhibited is seen in the floral bouquet through the office window.

Étienne-Louis Boullée was a French neoclassical architect whose designs have had a lasting impact on modern architecture. The paperwork accompanying this piece reads: "Sublime Spirit! Vast and profound genius! Divine being! Accept the homage of my weak talents... Oh, Newton!" With these words, French architect and designer Étienne-Louis Boullée dedicated his design for an imaginary cenotaph (empty tomb) in honor of the English physicist Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727). Like many intellectuals of his day, Boullée was fascinated by Newtonian physics.

This sizable map was likely created by George F. Cram who served in the U.S. Army during the American Civil War. After the war ended, Cram joined his uncle Rufus Blanchard's Evanston map business in 1867. Cram's map depicts populations in cities and towns throughout the state of Kansas as well as the distances between railway stations.

This sizable map was created by George F. Cram who served in the U.S. Army during the American Civil War. After the war ended, Cram joined his uncle Rufus Blanchard's Evanston map business in 1867. Cram's map offers a complete depiction of the railway systems that passed through Missouri and is believed to have been created in 1906-1907. In the lower left hand corner is a key explaining the map's contents including census data, counties, county seats, cities, post offices, railroad stations, villages, etc.

Earl B. Lewis is an artist and award-winning illustrator who has illustrated over 50 children's books. He works primarily in watercolor depicting stories about the lives of young black children and their struggle in race encounters, children in hospitals, and families. In this painting a mother, father, and child walk down an unpaved road visiting with one another. The father wears all denim with suspenders while the mother wears a long floral dress, completing a traditional image of a working-class family. The child wears a pair of denim overalls and holds a basket of apples.

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