Kansas City’s Medical Wonders: The Objects and Stories of St. Joseph Hospital’s Medical Collection
May to October 2016

The Kansas City Museum recently acquired the medical collection of the Donald Piper Memorial Medical Museum from St. Joseph Medical Center. This unique collection, made up of over 15,000 objects, has many stories to tell of innovations, unique practices, and the medical professionals who made it happen. It’s a singular story of one hospital but gives us insight into a part of Kansas City history that most don’t know about.

Kansas City’s Medical Wonders: The Objects and Stories of St. Joseph Hospital’s Medical Collection, developed and presented by the Kansas City Museum, tells some of these great stories, showcase artifacts from the collection, and looks at medical practices at various stages of life, from surgical techniques to homeopathic remedies. This exhibition is on the same level as Union Station’s Bank of America Gallery and complements Union Station’s summer exhibition BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life opening on May 21. For hours and ticket prices to BODY WORLDS visit unionstation.org.




Fashioning Kansas City Icons: The Art & Inspiration of Heidi Herrman, Steve Gibson & Amina Marie Hood
May 14 to July 16, 2016

The Kansas City Museum collaborated with Kansas City fashion designer Heidi Herrman and Amina Marie Millinery to present Fashioning Kansas City Icons: The Art & Inspiration of Heidi Herrman, Steve Gibson & Amina Marie Hood.  This exhibition—the first of its kind at the Historic Garment District Museum—featured contemporary dresses and  collaborative hats from Herrman’s “KC Icons Collection” alongside a display of Gibson’s photos showcasing the dresses and their icons reunited. A selection of historical Kansas City-made garments from the Museum’s collection was also on display.

Created as an ode to Kansas City, Heidi Herrman’s “KC Icons Collection” is comprised of ten hand-crafted dresses with images, created by photographer Steve Gibson, of Kansas City’s iconic monuments and institutions (TWA headquarters, Power & Light Building, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Union Station, etc.). Each dress is paired with a hat designed by Amina Marie Hood. The collection of wearable art debuted at the 2015 West 18th Street Fashion Show and the 2015 Kansas City Fashion Week.

By bringing together contemporary and historical garments, Fashioning Kansas City Icons: The Art & Inspiration of Heidi Herrman, Steve Gibson & Amina Marie Hood paid homage to Kansas City and its once vibrant and vital downtown garment district, while also celebrating the City’s innovative and growing fashion industry.

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Heidi Herrman’s Kansas City Icon Dress, Western Auto. Hat by Amina Marie Millinery. Modeled by Tiffany Tran. Photo courtesy of Steve Gibson Photography.

Herrman & Hood




Passing Me By: Snapshots of Northeast, 1996 to 2016
September 17 to October 15, 2016

Through film and digital mediums, Bryan Atkinson seeks to present a vibrant portrait of Kansas City’s Historic Northeast community. Since the 1990s, Bryan has been photographing life and spaces in Kansas City’s Northeast neighborhoods through an ongoing personal project. The exhibit features a series of photographic works that contract the beauty, history, and grit of the Northeast. These images are a photographic introduction to a unique part of Kansas City through the camera lens of someone who grew up wandering its streets.

Bryan Atkinson, Fountain Concourse Park

Pueblo to Pueblo: The Legacy of Southwest Indian Pottery
March 12 to June 25, 2016
Objects of many native cultures throughout the United States have been some of the most popular and well-regarded in the collections cared for an displayed by the Kansas City Museum over its 75 years of operation. The collection represents over a hundred tribal cultures and includes items of everyday as well as ceremonial use, and they were collected over many years by several donors. These items compose a rich tapestry of history, art, and culture that still flourishes today.

No collection group better exemplifies this richness than the pottery of the Southwest. However, it is a collection that has been overlooked within the Museum’s holdings for far too long. Those most familiar with the Museum’s Native American material know the name most associated with the collection—Daniel Dyer. As a Indian agent in Oklahoma (Dyer was at the Quapaw Agency from 1870 to 1884, and then at Darlington from 1884-1885), Colonel Daniel B. Dyer and his wife Ida began collecting objects from the various tribes who passed through Fort Reno. It eventually became somewhat obsessive and the collection comprised all types of material that was exhibited by the Dyers in the 1880s-1890s at expositions and fairs.

Only a small amount of Southwest pottery was collected by the Dyers. It wasn’t until the 20th century that Pueblo pottery styles caught public attention, in part due to the masterful works of Maria Martinez and her black-on-black pieces. The Kansas City Museum received several examples as gifts and later in the 1950s produced a film “The Hands of Maria” to accompany exhibition pieces. In the 1970s a change in focus of the Museum’s mission, toward local history with emphasis on local tribes, meant the pottery collection had fewer opportunities to be displayed. Thus, when the opportunity was presented to showcase these exception objects in a traveling exhibition, the museum staff eagerly agreed.

In 2010, the Kansas City Museum created Pueblo to Pueblo: The Legacy of Southwest Indian Pottery, a traveling exhibition curated by museum professional and scholar Bill Mercer. Pueblo to Pueblo has traveled to nine venues in the United States over the past several years and has not been shown in Kansas City to date. The exhibition consisted of over 70 objects and supporting materials dating from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. Viewers learned about the artists and native cultures of the Southwest pueblos including Acoma, Santo Domingo, Isleta, San Ildefonso, and more.


1964.252.2 TESUQUE
Rain God Figurine, 1900-1920, Tesuque
Jar, 1933, San Ildefonso
39.1941.304 ACOMA
Jar, 1910-1930, Acoma


Now & Then
March 12 to May 14, 2016

Now & Then showcased contemporary ceramic works that offered insight into the intersections between art, culture, and daily life. This exhibition brought together a selection of graduates and professors from the University of Colorado’s Boulder MFA program. Organized and curated by Casey Whittier and Blanca Guerra, Now & Then included works from Scott Chamberlin, Kimberly Dickey, Rachel Eng, Kelcy Folsom, Julia Galloway, Blanca Guerra, Joshua Paul Hebbert, Janice Jakielski, Stephanie Kantor,  Linda Lopez, Mathew McConnell, Alia Pialtos, Joanna Powell, Jeanne Quinn, Annie Strader, Casey Whittier, and Emily Schroeder Willis.

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From Left to Right: Stephanie Kantor, Untitled, Earthenware, 2015; Linda Lopez, Untitled (Gold Bush), Ceramic, 2014; Julia Galloway, Two Cups with Gold Porcelain, 2016; Blanca Guerra, Untitled (Perfect Seed), Ceramic, glaze, luster, wood paint, 2015; Casey Whittier, Chasing, Catching, Earthenware, 2016.


Pan American Association of Kansas City’s Student Art Competition
February 12 to March 26, 2016
The Kansas City Museum was proud to be the venue for an exhibition of artwork by the winning high school students who participated in the Pan American Association of Kansas City’s Grand Boulevard of the Americas Student Art Competition. Winning artwork will be printed on vinyl banners and installed on Grand Boulevard in spring 2016 as part of the Grand Boulevard of the Americas project.

The Grand Boulevard of the Americas was dedicated in April of 2008. The Boulevard extends from the intersections of Main St. and Grand Boulevard to the east terminus of the Grand Boulevard Viaduct in downtown Kansas City. The national flags of the independent member states of the Organization of Americas States (OAS) are printed on vinyl banners, attached to street light poles, and displayed along the length of the Boulevard. The purpose of the flags is to help educate Greater Kansas City about the countries of the Americas through a visual display of their national flags and art. The Pan American Association of Kansas City (PANAM-KC), is an all-volunteer, 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, organization. It is the sponsor for the Grand Boulevard of the Americas.



Cultures without Borders
March 5 to March 26, 2016
The Kansas City Museum was proud to be the venue for the 20th anniversary exhibition of Cultures without Borders, presented by Northeast Arts Alliance KC. For the past 19 years, Cultures without Borders, has been a regional show with an average of 20 artists accepted and all related to the theme Cultures without Borders. The artists represented a diverse selection of established and emerging artists from Kansas City and beyond. Up to 40 works were on display. Every year a new Juror curates the show.

The 2016 Juror was Hector Casanova. From 1999-2015, Hector worked as a staff illustrator for the Kansas City Star. Since 2013, Hector has been a full-time Instructor in the Illustration Department at the Kansas City Art Institute. His work has been featured in group exhibitions in Kansas City, New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Barcelona, and Mexico City and solo shows in Kansas City and New York. In 2000, he founded the Green Door Gallery in Kansas City. His latest project was a 70 ft Mural titled Breach, which was commissioned by the City of Kansas City, Missouri, and can be seen in the Grove Park on Truman and Benton Blvd.

Galleries of past Cultures without Borders works can be see at Northeast Arts KC.

Northeast Arts Logo


My Kansas City: the Heritage & Legacy of the Historic Northeast
October 15, 2015 to January 16, 2016
With the Historic Northeast’s vibrant revitalization in full swing, the Kansas City Museum was proud to present My Kansas City: the Heritage & Legacy of the Historic Northeast, an exhibition that explored the important history of Kansas City’s Historic Northeast neighborhoods and its long-awaited renaissance. As one of Kansas City’s oldest areas, the Historic Northeast’s past includes legendary, lively stories and shared memories of magnates, immigrants, mansions, ethnic businesses, and more. From culturally diverse neighborhoods, active residents, and visionary leaders to iconic monuments and beautiful natural resources, the Historic Northeast has deep historical significance for Kansas City—and the resilience and creativity of its neighborhoods is a beacon for the future.

Curated by Northeast News editor Michael Bushnell, in collaboration with photographer David Remley, My Kansas City: the Heritage & Legacy of the Historic Northeast featured a video with oral histories of residents and museum volunteers, as well as materials from the Museum’s collection and items on loan.

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Fountain at the Concourse, circa 1910. From the City of Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Department.


Mexican American Fast Pitch Softball Leagues: Connecting Communities Across State Lines
July 11 to December 12, 2015
Curated by Dr. Gene T. Chavez and presented by the Kansas City Museum in partnership with El Centro, Inc., Mexican American Fast Pitch Softball Leagues: Connecting Communities Across State Lines was on display from July 11 through December 12, 2015. It was an exhibition that explored the rich history and legacy of Mexican American fast pitch softball leagues in Missouri and Kansas. Featuring a documentary (watch the trailer) based on oral histories of former players, the exhibition also presented items from personal collections of players including photographs, uniforms, league documents, trophies, and other historical materials that tell the story of the game that brought Mexican Americans together.

Listen to an interview on KCUR’s Central Standard that aired on July 22. The interview is with Dr. Chavez and Gil Solis, fast-pitch softball player, coach and tournament organizer.

El Centro for Website   Guadalupe Centers


Argentine Eagles 1948 photo
Argentine Eagles, circa 1946. Photo courtesy of Rick Sauceda.


Divining the Museum: Visions of Past, Present, and Future
May 7 to June 13, 2015

Curated by Max Adrian and Paige Beltowski, Divining the Museum: Visions of Past, Present, and Future showcased contemporary artwork including installations, sculpture, ceramics, and photography alongside historical objects from the Museum’s collection. Adrian and Beltowski proposed imaginative and modern relationships with the historical artifacts and materials to catalyze conversation about the reinterpretation, relevancy, and meaning of history. The exhibition delved into how and why the boundaries between fact and fiction are blurred, even subconsciously, when new audiences are learning about historical events. Divining the Museum posed this question and others in many forms to stimulate curiosity, dialogue, and dreams of the future Kansas City Museum.

Curatorial Statement by Max Adrian and Paige Beltowski
We were immediately drawn to historical objects in the Kansas City Museum’s collection that spoke to the layered histories and stories of Corinthian Hall as a palatial home transformed into a cultural institution of history and natural science in the 1940s. We selected artifacts—like famous equestrienne Loula Long Comb’s tack from the Carriage House and the original furnishings of the Elizabethan Library in Corinthian Hall—and paired them with contemporary works and interpretationsto stimulate curiosity, dialogue, and dreams of the future Kansas City Museum. Through our responses to the artifacts, we continue to question how and why the boundaries between fact and fiction are blurred, even subconsciously, when we learn about historic events. Exploring the lines between fact and fiction is a common and reoccurring theme for both of our personal artistic pursuits. We hope our contemporary works summon stories that echo the past while inspiring discussions about the ways in which we engage with, learn from, and carry on the narratives that make up our surroundings.

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Sculpture & Glove by Max Adrian & Paige Beltowski.



Dressing Up in Kansas City: Rites of Passage explored the ways Kansas Citians dressed up for the various rituals of their lives from the 18th-20th centuries, including birth, coming of age, marriage, career and death. From its rich historical clothing, textile and costume collection, the Museum featured artifacts including christening gowns, wedding dresses, various uniforms and mourning attire. The exhibition was dedicated to the women of the Museums former Women’s Division and to the many donors over the years who gave generously of their family clothing and memories. The Women’s Division was an auxiliary group of women who made it their job—as volunteers—to gather historic clothing, quilts, and accessories for the Museum from the time it opened in 1940 until about 1968 when the Women’s Division raised the funds to hire the museum’s first Curator of Costumes.

Ivory colored satin jacket, part of a drum majorette outfit worn by eight year-old JoAnn Scurlock as a dance costume. The outfit included the jacket, a matching short skirt and gold lamé boot tops with olive green fringe on top. Her mother donated this and several of her daughter’s childhood items to the Museum in 1988.


Rituals and Celebrations: Exploring Meaning Through Dress was a contemporary counterpart to Dressing Up in Kansas City: Rites of Passage, and featured 12 local fiber artists and fashion designers who interpret the body, clothing, and adornments as a form of artistic expression to commemorate and revel in significant moments or a new journeys. Through color, shape, structure, texture, and detailing, these artists and designers investigated how conscious and subconscious inner desires transition outward through the daily act of getting dressed or the ritual of dressing up. Composed but unscripted, the works in Rituals and Celebrations created a meaningful “then and now” conversation with the historical clothing and textiles on display in the Museum’s exhibition Dressing Up in Kansas City: Rites of Passage. Rituals and Celebrations was co-curated by the Kansas City Museum and Pauline Verbeek-Cowart, Professor and Chair of the Fiber Department of the Kansas City Art Institute, with support from multimedia artist and fashion designer Maegan Stracy.

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Tara Light
Garment by Tara Light.