Oh, Thomas Hart Benton. You are, in the immortal words of Ms. Tina Turner, “Simply the best.” As a proud midwesterner, I have a soft spot in my rock hard heart for his folksy, vibrant art. I heard that a few of his lithographs were appearing up at the Kansas City Museum (another place I’ve never visited, I really need to stop watching netflix) for a pop up exhibition, so after a morning infusion of caffeine, I made my way over to northeast side of Kansas City.
The Kansas City museum isn’t your run of the mill museum. For one, it’s located way the hell out there, set in a mansion that would make Gatsby proud. Nestled inside a residential neighborhood, you follow about a million signs until you finally reach the gate, entering through a weirdly beautiful canopy of dormant vines wrapped around stone pillars.
The museum is technically closed and technically under renovation, but your very own tour guide will gladly grab her keys and unlock several doors until you finally emerge into the main house, a gorgeous, antique home that is almost completely deserted…except for a few room upstairs that house the paintings. It was definitely bizarre, but also very interesting and a little mysterious. The Benton lithographs were rad, as I thought they would be. But it was even radder looking at them in a slightly spooky bedroom, under lock and key. Score one for the KC museum.