Kansas City Museum

Kansas City Museum

The Kansas City Art Institute doesn’t offer degrees in fashion design, but students in the fiber department spend plenty of time thinking about clothing, costumes, performance and the human body as a means of expression, says Pauline Verbeek-Cowart, the chair of the department.

So when she got a call from Kansas City Museum Executive Director Anna Marie Tutera about co-curating a show called Rituals and Celebrations: Exploring Meaning Through Dress, she was up for it.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

The Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun, or King Tut, has been a subject of fascination ever since his tomb was discovered in 1922. The young king, who died at the age of 19, and his golden treasures have inspired films, fashion, music, travel and exhibitions. The Discovery of King Tut, has toured 20 cities since 2008, and it makes its first stop in North America at Union Station on Friday.

James Vaughan / Flickr / Creative Commons

Thomas Hart Benton was one of Kansas City's most famous artists. This year marks the 125th anniversary of his birth, and the Kansas City Museum is throwing a birthday party by displaying some of Benton's most prominent lithographs in a special exhibit.

Guest:

Laura Spencer / KCUR

In December, a city ordinance shifted management of the Kansas City Museum from Union Station Kansas City, Inc. to the  parks department, as of May 1, 2014. Corinthian Hall, the home of the museum, is under renovation – so much of the vast collection remains in storage at Union Station.

So what's in the museum's collection of more than 70,000 objects?

Creative Commons

After years of discussion, the Kansas City Council Thursday approved a new long-term agreement for the Kansas City Museum. Union Station Kansas City has managed the museum since 2000. The agreement transfers it to the city’s parks and recreation department. But the bulk of the collection remains owned by Union Station. 

"This is a very long awaited resolution to a somewhat extended and difficult partnership that we've had with Union Station," says Councilwoman Jan Marcason, who introduced the ordinance before the council. It passed with a unanimous vote.

The city of Kansas City, Mo. is one step closer to taking back management of the city-owned Kansas City Museum. A contract has been in place with Union Station Kansas City since 2000. It’s taken time and effort to reach a new agreement.

Charting a new path

The Kansas City council is looking at a proposal for the city to take control of the Kansas City Museum and its collection. The move would cut the strained ties between the museum and Union Station, which has managed the museum since 2000.

Scutter / Creative Commons

The Kansas City Museum Advisory Board on Monday approved a plan recommending the Kansas City Museum separate from Union Station. The board meeting opened with a Sunshine Law training. The last time the board voted on this issue, the city attorney’s office said it violated the state’s open meetings law.

Courtesy / The Gonzalez family

An exhibit opens this weekend at the Kansas City Museum about Lupe Gonzalez, a local musician who became an icon in the Latino community. His name may not be recognizable, and that’s likely because Gonzalez never received national recognition.

In 2003, Scott Wagner moved to the city's historic Northeast and got interested in neighborhood issues. A year later, Wagner joined the mayor-appointed Kansas City Museum Advisory Board. "I've been involved now for nine years. I've seen quite a bit in that time," he laughs.

Scutter / Creative Commons

The Kansas City Museum Advisory Board has formally approved the business plan calling for the city to break Kansas City Museum's ties with Union Station Kansas City.

The Kansas City Museum’s house director Christopher Leitch was fired on Monday. Details have not been released because it’s considered a confidential HR matter. But rumors have circulated that this signals the potential closing of the museum and layoffs.

Susan B. Wilson / KCUR

Update, 11:30 a.m.: "We are unchanged in our commitment in working with the city and our management contract to deliver programming for Kansas City Museum, both at Corinthian Hall and elsewhere," said Jerry Baber, chief financial officer of Union Station. "Our operation isn't changing, associated with the Kansas City Museum. Our relationship with the city isn't changing. This is strictly just an employment issue."

Denise Morrison, director of collections and curatorial services at Union Station, will step in as the museum's interim house director.

Bruce Bandle / Kansas City Museum

The Country Club Plaza is a staple in Kansas City, but did you know it was the first shopping mall in the country?

Barbers would still be cutting your whole head with scissors if Samuel Coffman hadn't invented electric hair clippers, and washing your dishes would be a much bigger hassle if Marion Trozzolo didn't think to combine Teflon with pans.

The history of innovation and invention conceived in Kansas City is crucial to the city's identity, and starting June 1 the Kansas City Museum will celebrate this history. 

Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America

Back in 1966, Drew Schaeffer started a small group in Kansas City called the Phoenix society. 

Susan B. Wilson / KCUR

The Kansas City Museum is in its third phase of a major restoration of Corinthian Hall, the old Northeast mansion that houses its collection. And the renovation doesn’t stop at just bricks and mortar.  A recent project aims to recreate the Georgian garden plantings that surrounded the mansion.

Kansas City Museum

Every month, the staff of the Kansas City Museum asks a local expert in some field to talk about a piece from the museum's collection for its Community Curator program.

photo: Laura Spencer/KCUR

African-American modern dancer and choreographer Alvin Ailey died nearly 20 years ago. But, until recently, his personal collection of photographs, costume sketches, stage notes and letters had not viewed by the public.