Last night, Linda and I had a ball at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art here in Kansas City. It was the opening of their new show, Backstage Pass: Collecting Art in Kansas City which runs September 7–November 4, 2007.
By pairing artworks from area private collections with examples by the same artists represented in the Kemper Museum’s permanent collection, this exhibition offers visitors a rare opportunity to see outstanding paintings, photographs, and sculptures by internationally acclaimed artists, including Willem de Kooning, Duane Hanson, Deborah Butterfield, Helen Frankenthaler, Lezley Saar, and Mike Lyon, among others, normally housed in private homes and offices. The diversity and quality of the featured works are not only a testament to Kansas City’s rich history of supporting the visual arts through public and private patronage, but also proof to the thriving support and enthusiasm for the arts in the city today.
Backstage Pass showcases noteworthy paintings by prominent American artists Richard Estes, Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, and Frank Stella, highlighting the level of commitment and intensity shared by many area collectors.
Equally important are the collections that include works by artists that reside in the Kansas City area, such as Wilbur Niewad, Roger Shrmomura, and Michael Sincair. Portraits by Andy Warhol and Kansas City-based Mike Lyon illustrate the gratifying relationship that often develops between artist and patron-arguably one of the most enjoyable facets of championing living artists.
Rachael Blackburn Cozad, Director
Christopher Cook, Curator
Backstage Pass exhibition catalog
Wow! What a thrill!