This painting purportedly looks down 8th Street in Kansas City. Buildings are colorful yet rendered in muted tones contrasting darkly coated pedestrians at their bases. Cars trail off in the distance and merge with the painting's Impressionistic style into an overcast sky. This work is noted as being painted for the W.P.A. (Works Progress Administration). The W.P.A.
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.
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.
Demons of the Night
This small painting contains a large variety of color and texture. Dark greens and blues of the outer edge struggle to focus in on the commotion of tan swatches layered over deposits of orange and yellow at center, resulting in a halo effect. Excess paint creates a choppy texture across the painting's center that serves to heighten the emotion already emerging with intensifying color. Lack of form within the composition leaves much to the imagination, yet the piece's title, "Demons of the Night", incites a suspenseful read.
"Missouri Ave" is an oil on canvas landscape painting in the Impressionist style. It depicts a view of the Missouri Avenue, located in the North East district of Kansas City, Missouri. The painting showcases multi-story buildings on either side of a street view with both automobiles and pedestrians. Businesses are visible on the left hand side of the work by the store front signs of "Tailor" and "Loans." "Missouri Ave" is an original painting signed by the artist.
Portrait of Harry T. Abernathy
Harry T. Abernathy was born in Leavenworth, Kansas on 23 May 1865 to Col. James L. Abernathy. Harry's father James, was the pioneer furniture manufacturer of the West. Harry came to Kansas City and became cashier of his father's company. Harry held the position for eight years. In 1895, he became the assistant cashier of the First National Bank. Later, he was the treasurer of Park College for four years.
Portrait of James M. Greenwood
The original Kansas City Public Library building was constructed under Greenwood's direction and he was committed to making its services available to the public for the rest of his life. He served on the Kansas City Public School board as a superintendent for nearly four decades. Through his progressive programs and vision, Greenwood became highly regarded in educational spheres. Greenwood is commemorated here in classic portraiture style, frontally posed with a patient expression. He donned a quaint black onyx pennant on his tie for the occasion, suiting his memory as elegant and humble.
Potrait of Taylor S. Abernathy
Taylor S. Abernathy was born in Missouri to Harry Thomas Abernathy. The Abernathy family owned Abernathy Furniture Company in Kansas City. Taylor graduated from Hamilton College in 1914 and returned to Missouri to work for the First National Bank of Kansas City. He was eventually named President of the bank. In this portrait by Adrain Lamb, Abernathy is dressed in a dark navy or black suit with a white shirt and matching pocket square. His tie bespeckled with red dots is the same color as his suit. The background of this portrait is rich in russet tones of red and yellow.
Town of Kansas
The large scale painting is an oil on canvas depicting the town of Kansas (Kansas City before it became a city). The painting shows many of the key elements that define fifty years or more of Kansas City history and development.
This painting commands the viewer's attention with color blocks modulated by geometric shapes. While the color blocks appear to be longitudinally oriented, overlapping paint layers in some supply a lateral element. The shapes comprising each block allow for a study of color within them expressed through contrasting and overlapping layers. Although the shapes can hold the viewer's eye throughout the painting, the concentration of triangular shapes near the bottom of the work creates a downward trend of movement overall.