Missouri’s complicated history exposed in forthcoming Bicentennial exhibition at Kemper


Photo courtesy of Kemper Museum

The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art recently announced the upcoming Contemporary Art and the Missouri Bicentennial exhibition, set to kick off at a limited capacity event from 6-8 p.m., next Thursday, Sept. 16, and remain on view through Feb. 20, 2022. 

“Kemper Museum has engaged an advisory group of 13 civic partners comprising curators, educators, artists, and cultural leaders to identify themes and through lines related to the state’s history and select works of art from the museum’s Permanent Collection that can illuminate these ideas,” Kemper’s Louise Forster says.

The exhibition “speaks broadly to the issues that have affected and continue to affect our state as we enter Missouri’s next century,” and will touch on topics such as ancestral histories, indigenous peoples, historical inequalities, human’s impact on the Missouri River, the history of Jazz music in Kansas City, and of “the people and experiences less widely known, recognized, and understood in the Midwest region.” 

“Collectively, these works inspire us to bring new perspectives to our understanding of Missouri’s unique history as well as to consider the ways that the themes and issues at play in our state fit into a more global framework,” assistant curator Jade Powers says of the new exhibition.

These themes and eras of Missouri’s history will be explored through more than 50 works by a roster of artists that includes Frederick James Brown, Wilbur Niewald, Bisa Butler, Alvin Eli Amason, and Elizabeth Layton.

The Sept. 16 launch event is partitioned by timed tickets and features entertainment by Chris Hazelton’s Trio. The Kemper urges any interested guests to review their COVID-19 safety precautions list prior to reserving tickets.

Categories: Culture