Art and Artifacts: Unique Finds Across the Metro Area

The Photography Collection of Mayor Richard Berkley runs through May 31, and offers a rare look at a selection of photographs by former Kansas City Mayor Richard Berkley. Never without a camera Berkley has taken more than 100,000 photos of politicians and world leaders, celebrities, travels and life around Kansas City. The June show is an art benefit for a local charity, Friends of KC Animals. The Friends of Animals benefit will be on exhibit June 7 through July 29 at the Buttonwood Art Space. This exhibition showcases animal art of all mediums and styles. Fifty-percent of each purchase supports Friends of KC Animals, a 501(c)(3) charity which helps abused and neglected animals in the community. The Art Space is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Photography Collection of Mayor Richard Berkley
June show
Art benefit for Friends of KC Animals
Found at Buttonwood Art Space
3013 Main St.
Kansas City, Mo. 64108

Missouri native Bob Byerley’s show A Kinder, Gentler Time in America, is up until May 15. Byerley’s trademark style of painting the souls of children in highly imaginative, meticulously detailed Americana images has earned him commissions by Disney and placed his work in 2,000 galleries throughout the United States and Canada. The Grandview show features 25 of Byerley’s best nostalgic works, including Heroes and Villains, Final Heat, and Jackpot. Kansas Citians are encouraged to come see the show at their leisure Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. or Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Many of Byerley’s most famous works showcase what childhood was like nearly 60 years ago during much simpler times than today. The Byerley family and their art will also be seen at the Art in Main Sept. 14 in Grandview.

Bob Byerley A Kinder, Gentler Time in America
Found at The View
13500 Byars Road,
Grandview, Mo. 64030

Ours to Fight For: Kansas City During World War II, running through May 19, presents a glimpse of Kansas City during World War II. Visitors will see a selection of domestic propaganda posters to artifacts pertaining to daily life in Kansas City. As unprecedented numbers of Americans heeded President Roosevelt’s call to service following Pearl Harbor, millions of red-bordered flags began appearing in windows across the country. Service flags bore one blue star to represent each family member serving in the U.S. military. The Westport United Methodist Church created their own version of the service flag in an electrically-lighted memorial altar to honor the servicemen from their congregation or family members of the congregation. The altar was conceived by Rev. Elmer Thomas, designed by Mrs. James Sullivan, built by C.E. Myers in his cabinet show in Westport, painted by William McCandless, Sr. and the letter was done by Charles Carr. The four gold stars represent the four who died in WWII: Warren Kuhn, Wayne Bailey, William Gene Stout, and Joseph Reid. Milton Ramsey died during his service, but his star was never turned gold. This altar served its purpose and was relegated to the church basement after the war where it remained until the congregation donated it to the museum in 2008.

Ours to Fight For: Kansas City During World War II
Kansas City Museum
East Gallery, 2nd Floor, Corinthian Hall
3218 Gladstone Blvd.

The National Archives at Kansas City will open a new exhibit titled, Fred Harvey: The Man, the Brand, and the American West on Tuesday, May 7. The exhibit traces the development of Fred Harvey’s food service partnership with the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad— an endeavor that branded Fred Harvey eating houses and hotels as a company with uncompromising standards, excellent food, and impeccable service by the Harvey Girls.

Fred Harvey was a visionary business man who changed the nature of railroad meals. His “Harvey Houses” were a string of eating establishments along the Santa Fe Railroad. The first restaurant, opened in Topeka, Kan., in 1876, was considered a progressive new venture. As the company expanded into the hotel and tourism business, they began opening lunch rooms, dining rooms, and hotels every hundred miles along the railroad line, even expanding into resort facilities at the Grand Canyon. Kansas City’s Union Station became one of their busiest locations, featuring a lunch room, dining room (Westport Room), retail shops, and the company’s corporate headquarters. By the 1930s, Fred Harvey’s hospitality empire spanned from Ohio to California.

Tom Taylor, local railroad and Fred Harvey historian and collector, states: “Sadly, the great Fred Harvey hotels and restaurants are all gone today. But artifacts like menus, china, silver, and postcards spark fond memories of the Harvey Company’s genuine hospitality and good food.” The exhibit will feature original documents from the holdings of the National Archives at Kansas City, as well as artifacts from local collectors and institutions in Kansas and Missouri.

Fred Harvey: The Man, the Brand, and the American West
The National Archives at Kansas City
400 W. Pershing Road
Kansas City, MO 64108

Kellie Houx

Kellie Houx is a writer and photographer. A graduate of Park University, she has 20 years of experience as a journalist. As a writer, wife and mom, she values education, arts, family and togetherness.

Leave a Reply