Untold Missouri

Paul Guitierrez  |  Director of Visitor Experience & Public Programming
Kansas City Museum

Toya Like  |  Associate Professor and Interim Chair of Race, Ethnic and Gender Studies
University of Missouri–Kansas City

Joey Orr  |  Andrew W. Mellon Curator for Research
Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas

 

The Missouri Bicentennial gives occasion to reflect on the people, places, and progress that have shaped the state for the past two hundred years. Works in the exhibition theme Untold Missouri, chosen by Advisory Partners Paul Guiterrez, Toya Like, and Joey Orr, reflect the people in Missouri as a way to give representation to those experiences less widely known or understood.

Works in this theme were created by artists who were born in Missouri or Kansas, lived and worked here, and had a tremendous impact on contemporary art in the region.

These works begin to address issues of filling in the gaps in social, gender, and ethnic representations when considering the state. They also highlight ways in which art can act as a resource for audiences to recognize the experiences of others and to encourage authorship of their own experiences.


Elizabeth Layton, (American, 1909–1993), I am Loved, 1977

In this work, Elizabeth Layton or “Grandma Layton” as she was fondly known, depicted the real experiences of her life including dealing with aging and depression but also the strength and warmth of her marriage to her husband, Glenn. 

 


Elizabeth Layton, (American, 1909–1993), I am Loved, 1977, graphite, colored pencil, crayon, metallic paint, ink, watercolor, 28 x 22 inches. Collection of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri, Gift of Don Lambert and the Lawrence Arts Center in honor of the 20th Anniversary of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, 2013.25.01. © Estate of Elizabeth Layton. Photo: E. G. Schempf, 2019.

Angela Dufresne, (American, born 1969), Jeanne Moreau smoking in mirror (from La Truite, 1982, Joseph Losey), 2005,

This painting by Overland Park, Kansas native Angela Dufresne (American, born 1969), is part of Dufresne’s longstanding celebration of women actors, giving them powerful presence while also highlighting their complex inner selves.


Angela Dufresne, (American, born 1969), Jeanne Moreau smoking in mirror (from La Truite, 1982, Joseph Losey), 2005, oil on panel, 16 x 18 inches. Gift of Dr. Anthony Terrana, 2020.07.03. © Angela Dufresne. Photo: E. G. Schempf, 2020.

​Roger Shimomura, (American, born 1939), Super Buddhahead, 2012

Longtime professor at the University of Kansas, Roger Shimomura’s (American, born 1939) work addresses sociopolitical issues of ethnicity. Shimomura spent part of his childhood in an internment camp for Japanese Americans during WWII; his work often points to the lack of Japanese American representation throughout pop culture and media.


Roger Shimomura, (American, born 1939), "Super Buddhahead," 2012, from the series "American Knockoff", color lithograph on white Arches cover paper, edition 14 of 40, 29½ x 10 inches. Collection of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri, Gift of the Lawrence Lithography Workshop in honor of the 20th Anniversary of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, 2014.10.01. art and photo © Roger Shimomura, courtesy of the Lawrence Lithography Workshop.