Kansas city society of artists

DEFINITION

A group of Kansas City writers and artists, it organized in 1921 "to increase the efficiency of the working and exhibiting artist members." The Society grew to about 50 members and in 1930 began meeting at 1718 Holly Street, an abandoned hotel and former saloon they, led by Gertrude Lighton, reconstructed on the west side of Kansas City on bluffs near Kersey Coates Drive. Some of the members such as Lighton, Gale Stockwell, Peg Kittinger and Richardson Rome occupied studios in the building, which also had a lunchroom known for its "tempting entrees". In 1934, The Society hosted the first solo exhibition of member Thomas Hart Benton, then teaching in New York City. It also held annual spring juried exhibitions at the Kansas City Art Institute, and every two weeks at Holly Street featured work of one member. Regarded as avant-garde, the Society, which lasted into the 1940s, was referred to as a "glamourous, new version of Bohemia." Among their group in addition to studio occupants mentioned above were Anna Allenbach, President; Walter Bailey, Vice President; and members Edd Spencer, and Emma Siboni. Sources: http://kansas-city-society-of-artists.blogspot.com/ 1937 "American Art Directory"; http://kansas-city-society-of-artists.blogspot.com/, Courtesy Karl Marxhausen, Kansas City Artist and Art Historian

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