Central Library

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.

Cenotaphe de Newton

"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.

Charles Clemons

This pen and ink caricature features Charles Clemens Orthwein, a St. Louis native that dominated the Midwest grain export industry in the early 20th century. The satirical didactic that accompanies this illustration mentions Orthwein to have occupied "about as many positions of trust as any man in the middle West" referring, but not limited to, his position as co-owner of C. F.

Chicago Great Western Railway Route Map, "Maple Leaf Route"

"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.

Child on Rocking Horse

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.

Child Reading on Pedestal

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.

Children's Bookcase

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.

Churchill Statue Overlooking Big Ben

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.

City Hall at Night, Kansas City

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.

City of Kansas

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.

Cleopatra with Attendants

Gabriella Polony Mountain's work includes four major themes. The first three themes are clearly recognizable as the Cosmos, Nature, and Figural works with the fourth theme encompassing history, philosophy, and culture. In her life as an artist, Polony Mountain worked with many different medium including mosaics, weavings, sculpture, stained glass, and repousse. A mosaic is a pattern or image made from small irregular shaped pieces of colored stone, glass, or ceramic called tesserae (individual tiles). These tesserae are held in place by plaster or mortor.

Colonial Manufacturing Grandfather Clock

Looming at seven and a half feet tall, this solid mahogany grandfather clock balances the simple and ornate into a concise sophisticated design. The clock has a rectangular bonnet, body, and base with complementary elements to offset the weight. Four narrow columns extend the space between the bonnet and base and reinforce the recessed space left by the body. Near the top of the bonnet, a beveled split pediment frames a spinning top-shaped finial. The bottom of the bonnet frames the clock face with a half-moon recession.

Commemorative Plate for then 9th & Locust Library

Based in Kansas City, Irma Starr is a world-renowned potter who creates collectible works of art that are modeled after the 17th-century slipware style of pottery. This plate commemorates the Kansas City Public Library's 9th and Locust Street Location in correlation to Native American collections in Kansas City. The center of the plate features the Library's original building in sharp relief aligned with the perspective of the building. Below it is the dates of that location, 1897-1960.

Conversation Around the Table

Gabriella Polony Mountain's work includes four major themes. The first three themes are clearly recognizable as the Cosmos, Nature, and Figural works with the fourth theme encompassing history, philosophy, and culture. In her life as an artist, Polony Mountain worked with many different medium including mosaics, weavings, sculpture, stained glass, and repousse. Sculpture is a three dimensional branch of the visual arts. In traditional forms of sculpture, the materials used were easily accessible and consisted of stone, metal, wood, ceramics.

Cosmic Circles (i)

Gabriella Polony Mountain's work includes four major themes. The first three themes are clearly recognizable as the Cosmos, Nature, and Figural works with the fourth theme encompassing history, philosophy, and culture. In her life as an artist, Polony Mountain worked with many different medium including mosaics, weavings, sculpture, stained glass, and repousse. Repousse, or repoussage, is a metalworking technique in which a malleable metal is shaped by hammering the reverse side of a sheet a metal. On the other side, a low relief design is revealed.

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