Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Union Station Kansas City Missouri

Pam Schwartz and I took a trip to Kansas City recently. She was invited to speak at an The American Association for State and Local History Conference. While she attended the conference and worked in the hotel room on Orange County History museum business, I explored on my own. Kansas City has a free trolley system and the end of the line is Union Station.

Across the street from Union Station is the National WWI Museum and Memorial. In 1919 two and a half million dollars was raised from a community based fundraising drive to honor the men and women who served and died in the war. The center piece of the monument is a 217 foot high tower surrounded by four guardian spirits (Courage, Honor, Patriotism, and sacrifice. Inside a memorial hall, a large mural covers a wall that has life sized portraits of some of the war’s most infamous generals and leaders. The mural titled, The Pantheon de la Guerre is just a section of a huge mural that was painted in the round that used to be several football fields in width. This mural was forgotten over time and sold for scrap where a local artist discovered it and insisted it needed to be preserved.

You enter the museum over a glass bridge that crosses over a field of blood red poppies. The poppy field references a poem called Flanders Fields about the poppies that grew over the graves of fallen soldiers after the war. The museum itself houses an amazing array of World War I memorabilia.

Trenches are part of the display and as one woman stuck her head in a hole to peak inside to see manikin soldiers huddled inside, a soldier started whispering in her ear which completely freaked her out. The east gallery covers the years from 1914 to 1917 and the West Gallery covers the years from 1917 to 1919. Display cases stacked full of items were rather difficult to decipher but on a whole it was an impressive collection.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

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