These doors once defined the entry of the First National Bank building built in 1906 on 10th and Baltimore streets and what is now home to the Central Branch of the Kansas City Public Library. Local architects Wilder and Wright designed the building in a neo-classical style with heavy stone masonry and frontal colonnade that complemented the ornate bronze doors. At just over seven feet in height, the doors disguise their weight with intricate design and open space that allow one to essentially see through their structure.
This image is from a page of the April 1929 issue of Aero Digest- a professional periodical covering the aircraft industry. The article focuses on the economy of the growing air transportation industry and Kansas City's potential to be the next "air metropolis". The article shows via a graphic representation that Kansas City's central location within the country gives it an advantage in the industry by being the "hub of vast areas". The image shows small planes radiating out from Kansas City to others all over the country.
This 19th-century dining table would have been used in elite settings, likely for large gatherings and dinner parties. Already a sprawling 84 inches in length, the table expands by two underlying leaflets to 156 inches. Two cranks hidden below the lip of the tabletop lock the leaflets in place or mobilize them to be pulled out. The heaviness of the table reinforces the idea of excess and bounty that would have been displayed on here. Ornate repetitive woodwork complements the weight of the piece yet while accentuating the wealth necessary to acquire it.
This side table's smooth upper surface caps a wealth of intricacy below. Starting with the band that foots the tabletop, shields, vases plush with foliage, and scrolling elements carved in high relief span the half-moon shape and give way to two supporting legs. The legs' alternate smooth, slender segments with globes carved with more high-relief detail. A sequence of ram faces protrudes from each of the upper globes with ribbons threading their horns. The lower globes are more subtle with sequences of four-leaf floral cameos.
This 19th century pedestal table is a beautiful combination of dark stained wood and glass and is accompanied by four chairs. The pedestal refers to the one "leg" in the center which holds the glass tabletop. The pedestal is comprised of a simple geometric base with a squarish form. As the eye moves up toward the center of the pedestal, one is greeted by an intricate carving of four lion heads enmeshed within a field of leaves. The top of the base is a small circular design echoed within the larger circular design of the glass tabletop.
This black and white photograph of Kansas City features several of the city's early historic buildings. Bold signs on buildings stand out amongst the structures, most notably the marking of the Westgate Hotel, the New York Life Building, and the New England Life Building in position to one another across the cityscape. The predominantly brick structures beneath the smoke stack driven haze of the skyline complete the image of an industrializing city.
This birdhouse was modeled after Victorian architecture with a tight, heightened layout that features a tower, multiple roof lines, gabled windows with window boxes, and a ground level porch. Circular 1 1/4 inch cutouts on the left and right sides of the house provide entry suitable for smaller bird species. The house has a number of other design features particular to its target inhabitants including ventilation sources, non-toxic resin and paint materials, a spacious interior and removable back wall for easy cleaning.
The artist truly captured the romanticism and vigor of the moment with a stylistic prowess. This scene captures an archer on horseback, richly costumed-wearing a long robed coat, and fur lined hat. The figure holds himself nobly while leaning slightly forward with reins in one hand. He controls his mount masterfully and casually resting his other hand on his hip while grasping his bow. The artist made a great effort to reflect the armory of the horseman, including finely detailed quivered arrows, and a sheathed sword.
The massive Baroque style sideboard is adorned with ornamental flourishes and whimsical creatures on the front side. The finish is dark in color and shines with an almost bronze quality. The sideboard contains two drawers and two cabinets separated by three columnal outcroppings.
What is a unique piece of wood from behind transforms into a cozy chair on which a bear rests reading a book. Deep gouges into the wood surface imitate the texture of the bear’s fur while a contrasting stain achieves its color. The bear is reclined and appears relaxed as they were in their natural habitat, inciting imagination about leisure time in the wild. A fitting addition to the library’s art collection, this bear is not only engaged with a book but represents the treasures within should one take the time to look.
A matching set of cast iron ornamental bookends. These classical style bookends feature a green patina, and have an intricate leaf and swirl design. Each pair of the ornamental bookend portions are anchored to an "L" shape black base with a discreet foam matting for placement protection.
This pair of bookends has a deceiving quality as its cast iron (and thus weighty) fabrication is disguised by flora inspired embellishments. The pieces maintain their dark slate color with silver coloring worn onto the edges of the embellishments. The design rests on a low-profile "L" shape. There is discreet foam matting on the bottom side to protect against placement damage.
"Bring Downtown BACK!-New Arena Symbolizes New Day for Kansas City" is an enlarged reproduction print depicting a paid political advertisement that ran in the August 2nd, 2004 issue of the Kansas City Star. The advertisement notes it was paid for by Citizens for a Downtown Arena, Lee A. Moore, C.P.A., Treasurer. The graphics include a caricature of the downtown landscape which highlights many architectural landmarks such as the Kauffman Center of Performing Arts, River Market area, Sprint Center, Union Station, Western Auto, etc.
The use of bronze became popular in 15th century Europe as a means to bridge ornament in sculpture with a faster rate of production. Artists employed the lost-wax method where wax models of sculpture would be encased by a mold wherein molten bronze would be poured over the wax model and once set the wax would be melted out, leaving a bronze production of the sculpture. With reusable molds and the availability and durability of bronze this method allowed artists to reproduce sculpture and objects like this serving bowl at a faster rate and higher quantity for a flourishing Europe.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.