A Gathering in the Arts: Midwesterns Photographed by George M. Kren

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A GATHERING IN THE ARTS: MIDWESTERNERS PHOTOGRAPHED BY GEORGE M. KREN


A Gathering in the Arts: Midwesterners Photographed by George M. Kren

by Margo Kren

with an afterword Getting to Know George Kren, Photographer by Jon Blumb


Copyright Š 2017 Margo Kren Photography courtesy of Margo Kren and the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art Video introduction with Linda Duke and Sarah Price https://mediasite.k-state.edu/mediasite/Play/c37c0f572ecc45f8a429a94f61fffa651d Cover design by Cody Wilhelm with Margo Kren Book design by Jahvelle Rhone and Margo Kren New Prairie Press, Kansas State University Libraries, Manhattan, Kansas Electronic edition available online at: http://newprairiepress.org/ebooks This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ ISBN: 1-944548-10-6 ISBN-13: 978-1-944548-10-0


A Gathering in the Arts: Midwesterners Photographed by George M. Kren

It all began with George photographing his friends and colleagues. The first photo shoot took place in our backyard on Bertrand Street in 1973. The subject was Alexandr Glickman, father-in-law of Jake Kipp, one of George’s colleagues in the History Department at Kansas State University. Glickman was a graduate of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts and became one of the curators of the Hermitage Museum of Art in St. Petersburg, Russia. He had recently moved to America to live with his daughter and son-in-law, and Jake brought him by the house to meet George. George wanted to photograph Glickman, so we moved outside where there was no need to set up lights. Being outdoors enabled George to keep the session informal for the subject’s comfort. That was how it started. At the time I never imagined how many individuals George would eventually capture on film. At first these photographic sessions seemed to be just for George’s benefit - an expression of his interest in collecting the faces of those connected with the arts. I did not consider it something for public consumption. Toward the end, the project began to look like it might be worthy of sharing with others. George had opportunities to photograph individuals from out of town and state when I chaired the Visitors Program in the Department of Art at Kansas State University from 1984 through 1995. During that time, regionally or nationally known figures in the arts came to campus each semester. They stayed with us in our home, where we aimed to provide an ideal, relaxed time for everyone, while giving George a chance to photograph.


During the year when I was president of the Kansas City Artists Coalition (1982-83), I traveled a lot in Kansas City and more widely around Kansas and Missouri for meetings and art events. George often accompanied me, and I would make arrangements in advance for him to photograph many of the persons we encountered on these trips. Sometimes we took photographs in as many as four artists’ studios in a single day. Now and then, we even ran into prospective subjects on the street, and George would see what he could get done right there on the sidewalk. At times the individuals would freeze up, and I would play the “birdie,” talking with them to distract and helping them relax. If that did not seem to work George would quietly start to pack up. The sound of him closing his case would soften them up. Then, George would go—click! Any sort of travel away from home was difficult for George. I always felt that his fear was tied to memories of when he was a twelve-year old and had full responsibility for his nine-year-old sister as the two fled Austria for England in 1939. They were part of a movement of little Jewish children on board ships from England to America. His parents were able to escape from Austria soon afterward, going in another direction. They left on board ship going south to Africa and then on to the States. George and his sister stayed in England for a year—his sister in a foster home and George in a youth hostel. Eventually, they were united with their parents in New York City. On the mornings when George and I were to drive to Kansas City or to other places around Kansas, he would balk and become irritated. I looked past that and started talking about the people we would meet and photograph and all the great food in fine restaurants. Then we would move out the door and get in the car. After that, he could take over and drive, he felt a greater control over the “unknown.” Once we were on Interstate 70 all the fear seemed to drain from his body, and he was very quiet and calm for the rest of the day. Eventually


there came a point when I was no longer traveling as much, and we were not photographing as much as we once had. He asked me one morning why we don’t go out to photograph as often as in the past. “You miss it?” I asked. “Yeah,” he said. George died in 2000. Four days later I called Bill North, curator at the Beach Museum at Kansas State University, and we set a date for lunch. I discussed with him the possibility of an exhibition of George’s portraits at the Beach Museum. Bill selected some of George’s “unposed” photographs of individuals for a possible show. Bill was more interested in the photographs where the sitters had not carefully posed themselves for George and where, being caught off guard -- their personalities were more naturally revealed. Eventually this project seemed more and more like the thing to do. So my sights turned to realizing an exhibition and to readying a companion publication of the photographs. Reconstructing the dates and circumstances of each shoot required considerable work. By referring to my calendars from the past, I was able to retrieve the dates of all but a few sessions. Two of these shoots -- John Talleur and David Perkins -- I simply forgot to record in my calendar. The third subject for whom a date of a session was not clear, Alexandr Glickman, had arrived in the America in 1973, well before I started the practice of recording dates. Fortunately, a call to Alexandr’s son-in-law yielded the month and year of the shoot. Recently I was also able to correct the date and place of the photographic sessions for Jack O’Shea and Margo Kren. I worked to verify my record of these sessions. Phone calls, letters, and e-mail messages helped me to correct, expand, and explain, especially when my recollections about George’s subjects seemed vague. This research allowed me to catch up with some of my acquaintances and to reflect on the many lives George and I had encountered over the course of this project. Some had


remained steadfast in the arts throughout their whole career. The careers of others took many, many turns, and some had changed completely. All came to fruition when the exhibition of George’s photographs opened on June 17, 2011, continuing through October 16 that year. The title of the exhibition was the Makers Framed. A reproduction of each side of the printed announcement for the show is presented here. Four individuals who attended the opening wanted their pictures taken next to the photographs that George had taken of them years earlier, and these four additional photographs are included here as well. Photographs were taken by Charlie Paynter.




Don Lambert


Michael Sims


Susan Lawrence


Sharon Hunter and Hank Putsch



For various reasons, a catalogue was not available at the time of this exhibition, and the best way to make both the photographs and information about them available to a wider audience was unclear. In 2016 Kathy Edwards, senior curator at the University of Iowa Museum of Art, made a suggestion to me: “Margo, museums do not only print publications; they can now publish them online connected to their website. This is an ideal project for that.” Right then all my attention became focused on a web book -- to be titled A Gathering in the Arts: Midwesterners photographed George M. Kren. In looking back, had this project been attempted 45 years ago we would not have known what was to happen to these individuals. The interplay between knowledge and memory, on the one hand, with the images of an earlier moment, on the other hand, is now present – yet this would have been largely absent decades ago. Now a fuller and richer story can be told about these photographs and the remarkable, creative individuals in them. As a child growing up in Linz, Austria, George had watched his father develop film in the darkroom he had set up for his own use. Aside from that experience, George was totally self-taught in photography, much as his father had been. He enjoyed seeing photography exhibitions and looking closely at books featuring photographers. Ansel Adams was his favorite. For George, there were no outside expectations of any kind to intervene. Nothing interrupted his own sense of how a photograph should be realized. He was totally free to relax with his camera and call his own shots. Margo Kren March 11, 2017


Rebecca Alston -- Photograph taken outside the Krens’ home on Bertrand Street in Manhattan KS in the summer of 1981. Rebecca asked to use this photograph for publicity purposes for her art. Alston was a professor in the Department of Architecture, at Kansas State University, 1980-1983. She studied art at Harvard and got a degree from New York University. For 30 years, she has had a successful career exhibiting her work in Holland, Japan, and England as well as in Chicago, Kansas City, Washington DC and New York City. Alston became aware of solar design and alternative energy, and this interest of hers has informed her work. She speaks of what she calls “bio forms” in the abstract work that she creates. Rebecca allows that the long hours that she commits to her work and the pressure she experiences are hard on her personal relationships. Interdisciplinary artist and educator.



Tom Fox Averill – Photograph taken outside the Krens’ home on Bertrand Street in Manhattan KS on June 23, 1981. An O. Henry Award winner, Averill is a writer-in-residence and professor of English at Washburn University, Topeka KS. His works, including Secrets of Tsil Café, Ordinary Genius and Rode, have won wide acclaim in Kansas and throughout the country. Writer, novelist and educator.



Ann Bagby – Photograph taken in her home on Walnut Street in Kansas City MO on May 20, 1982. Bagby was co-editor of Forum Magazine of the Kansas City Artists Coalition, once a monthly publication which later became quarterly. Independent artist.



Robert Bailey – Photograph taken outside the Greenlease Art Gallery at Rockhurst University in Kansas City MO on October 17, 1980. He was Director of the Gallery and Chair of the Department of Art at Rockhurst University, where he taught painting. Painter, administrator and educator. Deceased.



Colette Bangert – Photograph taken in her home studio on Tennessee Street in Lawrence KS on March 24, 1982. Colette and her husband, Jeff Bangert, were a part of the group of artists across the country who pioneered using the computer in their art work. In 1962, the Bangerts arrived in Lawrence and began their life-long use of the computer in drawings and paintings. Colette creates the abstract work on paper and Jeff realizes the collaborative algorithmic drawings. Jeff was the Supervisor of Graphics in the Computing Center at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. Colette was one of founders and early presidents of the Kansas City Artists Coalition. She was also an active member in the early beginning of the Kansas City chapter of the Women’s Caucus of Art. Independent computer artist.



Jean Bass – Photograph taken in her home on 61st Street, Topeka KS, June 6, 1982. She taught art in the Topeka High School for 38 years. Jean is most noted for her public tapestries. She was married to the artist Jim Bass. Weaver and educator. Deceased.



Jim Bass – Photograph at the Bass Studios and Foundry on 61st Street Topeka KS, on the day when hot metal was being poured for one of his works, June 6, 1982. He likes to see his work from beginning to the finished product stage at the end. Jim and Jean lived on a 40-acre farm site. The converted farm house and its buildings have been adapted for the production of bronze sculpture and fiber wall works He was married to the artist Jean Bass. Independent sculptor.



Donald Baum – Photograph taken in Baum’s apartment on South Shore Drive in Chicago IL on June 13, 1985. Baum‘s curatorial career included two important stints as guest curator. One was at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, which showed Don Baum Says Chicago Needs Famous Artists in1969. He gathered works from the emerging generation of Chicago talent and gave them their first museum exhibition. Another show he curated was titled Made in Chicago, which was of particular importance in shaping a vision of Chicago as a world of talented artists whose works were outrageous and surreal. Their resource materials were folk art, tattoo sheets, and comic books. Baum, as an artist in his own right, became known for his disturbing assemblage works featuring bones and cast-off dolls. Probably his finest work in this vein is The Babies of della Robbia, a reference to the Italian sculptor Andrea della Robbia (1435-1525). Baum substituted broken dolls for the adoring putti typical of della Robbia showing his frank embrace of intuitive methods rather than a more cerebral approach. He taught painting and drawing in the Department of Art at Roosevelt University in Chicago for 31 years. Curator, artist and educator. Deceased.



Shellie Bender – Photograph taken in the Krens’ home on Bertrand Street in Manhattan KS, on February 13, 1982. She was photographed after a ride back to the Krens’ home following a panel discussion on feminist issues at Marymount College in Salina KS. The panelists were Shellie Bender, Judi Kellas, and Margo Kren with Saralyn Hardy as moderator. Bender uses fabricated silver and rubber to create wearable sculpture. She makes precious metal jewelry in her home studio on Ohio Street in Lawrence KS. A way to see her work is to go on line and pull up The Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show, showing examples of her jewelry. Independent jeweler artist.



Philomene Bennett – Photograph taken in her studio on Central Street in Kansas City MO on January 5, 1979. Bennett was one of the founders and the first president of the Kansas City Artists Coalition. She was an instructor of painting in the Kansas City Art Institute, and she has also taught painting classes in her Kansas City Central Street studio. She is married to Lou Marak, a Kansas City painter. They both played a significant role in Kansas City in bringing attention to artists in the area. They moved to Santa Fe for a time to live and work. Eventually, after frequent travel back and forth between Kansas City and Santa Fe, they returned to Kansas City to live there on a more permanent basis. Her work is represented by Eva Reynolds Fine Arts Gallery in Leawood KS and Tom Deatherage of the Late Night Show Gallery in Kansas City MO. Painter and educator.



Philomene Bennett – Photograph taken inside the Central Street studio in Kansas City that she shared with her husband, Lou Marak, (date unknown). Bennett and Marak moved into their studio in 1976. He worked for many years at Hallmark designing cards. Painter and educator.



Philomene Bennett – Photograph taken outside the Mulvane Museum at Washburn University in Topeka KS after the opening of a Kansas City Artists Coalition exhibition on February 27, 1984. Jim Hunt, director of the Mulvane Museum, curated and arranged the show of the Kansas City Artist Coalition artists. Bennett described George Kren as “one of those dear friends that continues to have an impact on Lou and me through all the memories we shared. He always seemed to have a camera over his shoulder and was taking photos of many artists, poets and interesting friends he and Margo had. We shared many enriching hours dining and discussing the arts, politics and cultural events with them. He died too soon and we miss him.” Painter and educator.



Dorothea Bilder – Photograph taken outside her Green Acres home in De Kalb IL on June 8, 1981. In her work as a printmaker she has used serigraphy, lithography, and metal etching. Bilder wrote the book Silk Screen Printing. At the 1976 Mid-America Art conference in Kansas City MO. Bilder was a discussant on a panel involving feminist issues. Bilder, a professor emerita, taught printmaking at the Department of Art in the School of Art at Northern Illinois University, De Kalb IL. Her work is represented by the (Art Box) DeKalb Gallery in De Kalb IL. Printmaker, painter and educator.



Rita Blitt – Photograph taken outside her home studio on 89th Street in Kansas City KS on October 14, 1981. Out of love of movement and dance, she created lines in sculptures reaching in height to sixty feet. She was invited to exhibit in the 2005 Florence Biennale. In 2015 Blitt donated a significant portion of her life work -- some 1,000 paintings, drawings, sculptures – to Washburn University and to the Mulvane Museum. Independent sculptor.



Paul Brach – Photograph taken outside the Krens’ Bertrand Street home on April 21, 1986. He was a guest speaker of the Department of Art at Kansas State University. In a late-night conversation with George Kren he told World War ll stories of his army experience liberating the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Brach was a pioneering administrator. Between1969 and 1975 he was the founding Dean of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia. He hired critic Max Kozloff, conceptual artist John Baldessari and performing artist Allan Kaprow. Brach was a mentor to some of the brightest stars of the art world of the 1980s. Brach was one of the first artists to show with Leo Castelli. Brach was married to the artist Miriam Schapiro. They were part of the early Hampton Art Colony in New York NY. Painter, educator, lecturer and administrator. Deceased.



Robert Brawley – Photograph taken in back of the Krens’ Tatarrax home on October 27, 1987. For five years, he was chair of the Department of Art at the University of Kansas, Lawrence where he taught painting. He was a still-life painter of simple objects that he placed in odd juxtapositions resulting in a contemplative look. Using many layers of glazes in his work, he gave remarkable brilliance to his images. Painter and educator. Deceased.



Byron Leslie Burford – Photograph taken outside at the Krens’ Bertrand Street home in Manhattan KS on April 27,1981. Burford was a guest speaker in the Department of Art at Kansas State University. He was a professor of painting in the School of Art and Art History at University of Iowa, Iowa City IA. It was Grant Wood who invited Burford to join the University of Iowa faculty. Burford headed the painting area and taught decades and decades of grateful students until he retired in1985. He was married to the illustrator and now deceased artist Kay Burford. Although influenced by the Midwest regionalist movement Burford was essentially a figurative artist with a distinct and recognizable realist style that often places his subjects in their own defining context: a circus performer, a legendary entertainer or jazz men with their instruments. As a gallery attendant at the Olson-Larsen galleries in West Des Moines IA said: “If America has ever had a counter-part to Frederico Fellini it was the venerable visual artist Byron Burford.” His work was represented by the Babcock Gallery in New York NY. Painter and printmaker. Deceased.



Gretchen Caracas – Photograph taken near Howard Rogovin’s studio on Melrose Street in Iowa City IA on April14 1979. She was an adjunct faculty member in the School of Art and Art History, 1973-1992. Her paintings were seen as inspired by Spain and by Iowa, and they are filled with light, atmosphere and nuances of vibrant color. Both Gretchen Caracas and her partner, Howard Rogovin live in Ibiza, Spain half the year and the other half in Iowa City IA. Her work is represented by the Olson-Larsen Galleries in West Des Moines IA. Painter and educator.



Cecil and Blanche Carstensen – Photograph taken outside the Cartensens’ home on West 38th Street in Kansas City MO on May 30, 1982, Cecil taught sculpture in the Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City MO. The artist Thomas Hart Benton had a home directly across the alley-way, and he would come over for a small drink from Cecil, even though he knew his wife, Rita, would not likely have tolerated it. Cecil was a sculptor and educator. Blanche was an artist. Deceased.



Ron Christ – Photograph taken in his office and studio in McKnight Art Center in Wichita State University on July 15, 1980. Christ taught painting and drawing at Wichita State. He made regular summer trips to Italy. He was influenced by the masters Giorgio de Chirico and Piero della Francesco. He said: “I want to combine elements to create painting fictions that are possible but not probable. The central themes are fate, chance, reason, choice, and change.” Professor emeritus Christ’s work is represented by the Reuben Saunders Gallery in Wichita KS, formerly the Art Works gallery. Painter and educator. Deceased



Warrington Colescott and Frances Meyers – Photograph taken outside their Hollandale WI home and studio on September 18, 1998, where they operated Mantegna Press. Both worked as printmakers and taught printmaking in the Department of Art at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Colescott says: “My prints and paintings are narratives, both direct and metaphorical. The intent is moral, if your morality is in my ball park. The method is satire; comedy is OK, but pretty much anything goes if it fits my drawing concept on paper or copper plate.� Colescott has the Leo Steppart chair, Professor of Art at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His work is represented by the Spaightwood Galleries, Upton MA. Meyers: Printmaker and educator. Deceased. Colescott: Printmaker and educator.



Ann Cooper – Photograph taken outside at the Krens’ Bertrand Street home in Manhattan KS in the summer of 1987. Cooper lived and worked on 461 Broome Street in New York City. She was a resident artist at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Sweet Briar VA. Independent painter. Deceased.



Norma Cowdrick – Photograph taken outside her home on West 46th Avenue, Kansas City KS on June 4, 1982. She and her husband, Charles, an art critic for Pitch Weekly, later moved to Charlotte Street in Kansas City MO – a street where many Kansas City artists found their homes. Norma went to Para Brazil on a two-month artist-in-residence grant sponsored by the Missouri-Para Partners of America. Half her time was spent in braving equatorial heat to work with Brazilian artists, the other half working with an international team of doctors headquartered on the Amazon River. Cowdrick had a MacDowell Artist Colony Residency in New Hampshire. Independent pastel artist.



Bill Crist – Photograph taken inside his Tomahawk Street home in Kansas City KS on March 19, 1983. Bill Crist and Barbara Mueller both served the department of art and art history at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and were married until each moved elsewhere after retirement. Crist was chair of the art and art history department from 1987 to 1991 and taught sculpture from 1974 to 2000 and Mueller taught painting from 1966 to 1999. She was part of a Fulbright Summer Faculty Seminar in India in 1971. She had a 1994 Visual Artists Residency fellowship at Vermont Studio Center in Johnson VT. In 1978, there was a show of her work in the Ward-Nasse gallery in New York NY. Crist received his MFA in sculpture at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills MI where he studied from 1969 to 1971 and he did post-graduate work with Joseph Beuys at Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, Germany from 1981 to 1983. While Crist’s main mentor was Beuys, he did study with Nam June Paik, Norbert Kricke, Gunther



Uecker and Klaus Rinke while he was at the art school. Initially he used the computer in the early 1970s strictly to help him design sculpture. Eventually he used just the computer to make art. He quit using the computer when he retired in 2000 and became professor emeritus. He said: “I am so sick of computer art!” He turned back to making sculpture made of wood and metal and paintings of oil and watercolor. His work is represented by Broderick Gallery in Portland OR and Pacifica Galley in St. Helens OR. While working as a student in Germany under Beuys, Crist was most interested in Beuys‘ sculpture of hand planting 1000 Oaks across Germany. From 2002 to 2010 Crist’s big project – Tree Sculpture entailed hand plant 4,500 Douglas Fir sculpture trees in a 30-acre piece of land in Warren OR. He says: “They are getting tall and it is fun to hike around in them.” Mueller was a member and co-founder of the Women’s Caucus of Art, Kansas City Chapter in 1974. It was the first chapter to be formed in the country. Bill and Barbara


were members of the Kansas City Artists Coalition. Mueller was a KCAC founding member in 1975. She is professor emerita at University of Missouri, Kansas City. Mueller: Painter and educator. Crist: Sculpture, computer artist and educator.


Betty Millard Dickerson – Photograph taken outside the Wichita Art Association in Wichita KS on October 18, 1985. She was a talented painter and Wichita Art Association instructor. She was married to the artist William Dickerson who was a printmaker and a member of the Prairie Print Makers. David Salle, a former student at the Wichita Art Association, told New York Times in 2017: “When I knew it, the school’s tone was set by the two artists who ran the place for close to 40 years, Bill and Betty Dickerson, or Mr. and Mrs. D, as they were known to their students. Together they defined the school’s mission: to foster a pragmatic working method that combined classical and Modernist aesthetics with direct observation.



You could learn how to draw the model, and for many people that was as far as it went, but the real emphasis was on composition and all that implies – a picture’s underlying architecture as both source and measure of its vitality. It was a serious place, and the first place I remember being truly happy. The Dickersons and their teaching style flourished at a time, mostly before the triumph of Abstract Expressionism and the rise of the university art department, when a lot of major American art was regional. Good art occurred whenever an artist happened to be, from Maine to Taos. Whatever its new incarnation, the school I had known, its distinctive personality and unlikely influence, could never be repeated.� Bill retired from the directorship in 1971, looking forward to a good stretch of time in which to paint; he died the following year. Painter and educator.


Betty continued on at the school well into her 80’s, but increasingly isolated from the Art Association’s new leadership, and from the town itself. Even more than Bill, Betty gave everything she had to the school. What the Dickersons created as artists and teachers – it was a whole belief system – disappeared with them.” Painter and educator.


Douglas Drake – Photograph taken in his gallery office on May 1, 1978. He was the owner of the Douglas Drake Gallery on State Line Road in Kansas City KS. After ten years in Kansas City he moved the gallery to New York City and stayed until 1985. Now he is a full-time private dealer and appraiser in Prairie Village KS specializing in American contemporary art. He is partner to Kansas City art critic Elizabeth Kirsch. Gallery owner and private art dealer.



Patricia Duncan – Photograph taken outside her Kansas City MO photo lab and home on June 21, 1984. “The Tallgrass Prairie: An American Landscape” was a Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Services (S.I.T.E.S.) offering created by photographer and artist Patricia Duncan in 1976. Between 1976 and 1986 it was displayed in over 300 venues in all 50 states. Its significance in raising public awareness of the tallgrass prairie as a presence and quickly vanishing eco-system can hardly be over-stated. Preliminary work by Duncan’s devoted team in Kansas was taken up by Nancy Landon Kassebaum, which led to creation of the National Tallgrass Prairie Preserve outside Strong City KS by an act of Congress and signed by Bill Clinton in 1996. In her art, Duncan wants to “reveal things within the great open grasslands and dramatic skies of Kansas.” In 2002, she and her husband moved to Maine, where Duncan would be able to work while letting herself be taken by the Maine landscape. Independent photographer.



David Dunlap – Photograph taken outside the student painting studios of the School of Art and Art History at the University of Iowa, Iowa City IA on April 14, 1979. He taught painting and drawing in the Department of Art. Dunlap received a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship in 1989 and a McKnight/Intermedia Arts Fellowship in 1994. Performance artist, painter, educator and walnut farmer.



Raymond Eastwood – Photograph taken in his Louisiana Street home-studio in Lawrence KS, February 26, 1983. He was a professor and chair of the Department of Art at University of Kansas, Lawrence and taught painting in 1922-1968. Judi Kellas, owner of Kellas Gallery in Lawrence, remembers: “Raymond would say he was born ‘upstairs’ in Bridgeport CT in 1898.” Eastwood’s work was represented by Kellas Gallery. Kellas organized the estate exhibition of Eastwood’s work in 2001 in Lawrence KS. Painter and educator. Deceased.



Jane Eby – Photograph taken outside the Reuben Saunders Gallery in Wichita KS on September 4, 1980. Eby worked with Saunders in the operation and promotion of the gallery. In 2003, Eby went back to school and earned a Ph.D. in Community Psychology. She now works full-time as a researcher for Rainbows United, Inc. in Wichita KS, an organization that provides early intervention services for children with special needs. Jane’s husband, Randy Kust, an artist and professor in the Department of Art at Wichita State University, taught printmaking and drawing, He was director of the Clayton Staples Memorial Gallery in the Department of Art for a time. The couple is not making art at the moment, although they would like to. Randy is the homemaker now, caring especially for their children. Jane recalls a lunch at the Krens’ Bertrand Street home and remembers George Kren: “He was using a computer for his writings and research when most people did not have them or know what to do with them.” Printmaker.



Harley Elliot – Photograph taken outside of the Krens’ home on Bertrand Street, Manhattan on June 23, 1981. Harley was head of the Art Department at Marymount College in Salina KS for twelve years and taught there from 1969 through1989. He also taught at the Salina Art Center in Salina KS from 1990 through 2003. He has written ten books of poetry, such as Monkey of Mulberry Pass and Fugitive Histories. Harley has also written non-fiction. He says that one of his books, titled Loading the Stone, is about “process”. He likes searching for artifacts, for instance, something like flint. Harley is “still writing, working on poems and doing visual objects.” Mixed media artist, writer, poet and educator.



Ann Evans – Photograph taken near the Lawrence Art Center on 9th and Vermont Street in Lawrence KS on July 9, 1983. As director, Evans steered the Lawrence Art Center (formerly in the old Carnegie building) for 33 years, a longer term than most directors have generally served. Later in her tenure as director, she oversaw the expansion of the center into a state-of-the-arts facility on New Hampshire Street in Lawrence. Evans received a Phoenix Award and a Kansas Governor’s Arts Award for her roles as arts advocate and educator. Saralyn Hardy, director of the Spencer Museum, said: “The Lawrence Art Center is what it is today because of Ann‘s abilities.” Art center director and arts advocate.



Terry Evans – Photograph taken on the prairie near Carnahan Creek State Park in Kansas on August 13, 1982. Salina KS was her home. She eventually moved to Chicago with her husband, but she held on to a photo studio in Matfield Green KS. Evans conceived of a Kansas photographic album, and she won support and an endorsement for her project Kansas Album from the Kansas Bankers Association. The book contains the work of a number of documentary photographers using black-and-white film to portray an attitude towards life in Kansas. Rather than just attempting a pictorial survey of Kansas they were influenced by how the environment gave insight into the character, humor, and spirit of the culture. These photographers worked individually on black and white photographs of Kansas during a five-month period from June through October in 1976. The photographers were Alinder, Evans, Goodman, Grier, Iversen, McFarland, Richardson, Schwarm, and Winogrand. Independent photographer.



Joan Foth – Photograph taken in her home-studio in Topeka KS on October 15, 1980. Foth was hired as an adjunct faculty member and taught watercolor and drawing classes in the Department of Art at Washburn University in Topeka KS. Noted for her panoramic watercolor landscape Foth eventually moved to Chimayo, north of Santa Fe, to paint the New Mexico landscape. A1981 article by Don Lambert in a magazine American Artist caught the eye of William Least Moon, who chose one of Foth’s paintings for the cover of the hardback edition of PrairyErth. She said: “When you are preparing to do a major passage of watercolor you have to be ready. It’s truly a Zen moment. You can’t wipe the surface off and start over again, as you can with oil.” Her works were exhibited at the Dewey galleries in Santa Fe NM in 1982-1992. Painter and educator. Deceased



Angelo Garzio – Photograph taken outside on his farm near Riley KS on November 27, 1980. Garzio was born in 1922 in Italy and was brought to America as a child with his mother. His father was already in the United States. Garzio played the French horn professionally in the Syracuse and Rochester symphonies. Garzio received a Diploma de Proffito in Art History at the University of Florence; an MA in Art History at the University of Iowa in1954 and an MFA in ceramics in 1955. In 1957 he began teaching ceramics in the Department of Art at Kansas State University, Manhattan and headed the ceramics area. Garzio published extensively, and he received four Fulbright Senior Lectureships during the course of his career. He was a guest potter at the internationally known Arabia potters in Helsinki, Finland in 1956 -1957. Later in his life he spent long hours on his tree farm near Riley KS. His work is represented by the Phoenix Gallery in Lawrence KS. Ceramic artist, educator and musician. Deceased.



Norman A. Geske – Photograph taken inside the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery in Lincoln NE, on December 30, 1977. As director of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Geske was the one person providing steady leadership for the museum for two decades from 1963 to 1983. In 1958, the museum received a substantial monetary gift and Geske immediately started plans for a new museum. It was the world-famous architect Philip Johnson’s contemporary adaptation of a traditional museum form that emerged as a winner of the competition. The dedication of the building was in 1963. A sculpture garden was eventually completed. The name of the museum was changed to the Sheldon Museum of Art in 2000.




In 1971 Geske began work on his book Beyond Madness: The Art of Ralph Albert Blakelock 1847-1919. Geske found a proto-modern vision in the work of Blakelock, which he believed had influenced several generations of 20th century painters. He completed the book in 2007. He became the Sheldon’s director emeritus. Museum director and writer. Deceased.


Aleksandr Glikman – Photograph taken outside in the Krens’ Bertrand Street home in Manhattan KS in September 1973. Glikman was a graduate of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts and became one of the curators of the Hermitage Museum of Art in Leningrad, Soviet Union. Glikman’s son-in-law, Jake Kipp, a professor of Russian History in the Department of History at Kansas State University, and a colleague of George Kren, professor of European history, introduced Glikman to George in 1973. Museum curator. Deceased.



Lester Goldman – Photograph taken inside his 57th Street home studio in Kansas City MO on November 28, 1982. Goldman taught painting at the Kansas City Art Institute. He drew inspiration for his work from the European masters Balthus and Jean Helion through Leland Bell, Goldman’s teacher at the University of Indiana. He abandoned figurative painting for more playful abstract work with Dadaesque word play.





Nathan Goldstein – Photograph taken outside of the Krens’ Bertrand Street home in Manhattan KS on February 26, 1985, He was a visiting artist for three days in the Department of Art at Kansas State University. Goldstein was a professor of painting and drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Boston, Boston MA. His book The Art of Responsive Drawing in its sixth edition is a significant book for art educators at the university level. Artist, author and educator. Deceased.



Robert Green – Photograph taken in his Sunset Street home studio in Lawrence KS on August 6, 1983. He was professor of painting in the Department of Art at the University of Kansas, Lawrence in 1946-1979. Green held a Prix de Rome Fellowship in 1935-38 at the American Academy in Rome and studied with Ferruccio Ferrazzi to learn the technique of buon fresco. Betsy Broun, director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in New York remembers Robert Green as a wonderful teacher from her days as a student at the University of Kansas in the 1970s. “He was able to convey up front that he was on your side.” Painter and educator. Deceased.



Saralyn Hardy – Photograph taken outside her Highland Street home Salina KS in May 28, 1982. She was director of the Salina Art Center in Salina KS, 1986-2005. In 1999-2002, she held an appointment as the Director of Museums and Visual Arts of the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington DC.





Gloria Vando-Hickok – Photograph taken outside the Krens’ Bertrand Street home on February 20,1982. She was a panel discussant on Publishing in the Arts sponsored by the Department of Art at Kansas State University. Vando-Hickok was editor and publisher of Helicon Nine, an independent non-profit literary press she founded in 1977.



For ten years, the press published a national literary magazine, Helicon Nine, the Journal of Women’s Arts & Letters, which published over 500 women artists from Sappho to Yoko and which received the Kansas Governor’s Arts Award. Helicon Nine also sponsored the Marianne Moore Poetry Prize and the Willa Cather Fiction Prize for 15 years. Married to Bill Hickok. Both are founders of The Writers Place in Kansas City. She and her husband eventually moved to Los Angeles to retire. Her first book of poems was Promesas: Geography of the Impossible, a personal encounter with the history of colonialism and her family roots in Puerto Rico.


It was a Walt Whitman Award finalist. Gwendolyn Brooks welcomed her into “the company of poets,” remarking that her work was “spirited, bittersweet and adventurous.” She also did a biography of her father for a new encyclopedia of Latinos. Vando-Hickok spoke of George Kren saying: “He was a wonderful mentor. I learned so much from him that has stayed with me.” Poet, writer and publisher.


Jim Hunt – Photograph taken in the lobby of the Mulvane Museum of Art at Washburn University in Topeka KS on February 27, 1984. He served as Director of the Mulvane Museum of Art and Chair of the Department of Art at Washburn University, Topeka KS for many years. Museum director, department chair and painter. Deceased.



Sharon Hunter-Putsch and Hank Putsch – Photograph taken in Hunter’s Pennsylvania Street apartment in Kansas City MO on June 30, 1984. Hunter was the Director of Admissions at the Kansas City Art Institute and served a term as president of the Kansas City Artists Coalition. the Alliance of Independent Colleges of Art, Washington DC 1982-1990.



After a move to Washington DC and marriage to Hank Putsch she became the Director of Admissions for the Corcoran School of Art and Design and later became Associate Dean. Then she and her husband were hired as a team by the Lyme Academy in 1991, as part of the Academy’s effort to achieve accreditation as a college which offered the BFA degree. Hank Putsch served as Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance in Philadelphia PA from1972 to 1976. He was Director of the Federal-State Partnership in the National Endowment for the Arts, Washington DC from 1976 to1979. He was Deputy Chairman for Partnership in the National Endowment for the Arts, Washington DC 1979-1981 and Executive Director of Arts, Washington DC 1979-1981 and Executive Director of the Alliance of Independent Colleges of Art, Washington DC 1982-1990. Putsch was President and CEO of the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, Old Lyme CT, 1990-2002. Hunter was Vice President of Academic Affairs and Academic Dean.


Hunter and Putsch retired to Kansas City in 2003. When Hunter returned to Kansas City with her husband, she began to teach painting and drawing in the Continuing and Professional Education Program at the Kansas City Art Institute. She remains to this day a consultant for the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Hank Putsch: Administrator. Deceased. Sharon Hunter-Putsch: Administrator, artist and educator.


Michael Jilg – Photograph taken outside of the Krens’ home on Bertrand Street in Manhattan on April 11, 1986. A solo show of Jilg’s work was exhibited on campus at Kansas State University, Manhattan. He began teaching printmaking for the Department of Art at Fort Hays State University in Hays KS in 1981. He received a Kansas Governor’s Arts Award. As the writer Stacy Chance said of Jilg’s work: “His etchings portray the female figure not in the traditional nude role but give her a mind and an attitude. His women are modern and challenging, reject submission and demand attention.” He has had over 200 exhibitions and works in museum collections in the United States, England and Asia. Printmaker and educator.



Judi Kellas – Photograph taken in her gallery, the Kellas Gallery, in Lawrence KS on January 1, 1982. She was a guest speaker of the Department of Art at Kansas State University, Manhattan. Her gallery succeeded in making the works of many Kansas artist available to the viewing public. She opened her gallery in 1972 and sold it to Mary Lisa Pike in1983. She was a member of the Kansas City Artists Coalition. Kellas’ work was represented by the Morgan Gallery in Kansas City and Strecker-Nelson Gallery in Manhattan KS. Gallery owner, painter and printmaker.



Elizabeth Kirsch – Photograph taken in front of the Douglas Drake Gallery in Kansas City on July 9, 1980. Kirsch has curated more than one hundred exhibitions of contemporary art and American Indian art for not-for-profit and public institutions. She was a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in 1980. She is an art critic for the Kansas City Star since 1976. Art historian, curator and art critic.



Margo Kren – Photograph taken outside of the Kren home on Bertrand Street in Manhattan KS in the spring of 1982. She received her Master of Fine Arts at the University of Iowa, Iowa City in 1979. She received a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1982 and was given the Kansas Governor’s Arts Award in 1989. Margo Kren was a president of the Kansas City Artists Coalition for a year in 1982. Kren is professor emerita of the Department of Art at Kansas State University, Manhattan where she taught painting and drawing for 31 years. She received the Kansas State University Graduate Faculty Member Award in 1989. Kren was a resident at Yaddo in 1989. Her work is autobiographical, largely informed by her travels to many parts of the world and by her life with her husband, George Kren.



Her work was represented by the Morgan Gallery in Kansas City MO. In photographing people George would like to take advantage of extra detail surrounding each individual. George asked me to sit in front of one of my paintings. Unbeknownst to me there was a detail, an “eye-like form, staring out at the viewer from my painting registered above my head. He included it in the framed image so this was no accident. Nor did it show any mean-spirited streak in George. It was just George being playful. I was glad that Bill North, curator at the Beach Museum chose to include this photograph of me in the exhibition held there, as he chose all the other of George’s photographs in this web book. His desire was to select as many individuals who were not consciously posing. Painter and educator.



Kathleen Kuchar – Photograph taken inside the Krens’ Bertrand Street home on January 9, 1988. Kuchar stopped off that day in January at the Krens’ home after delivering paintings for a show of her work to the Student Union Gallery at Kansas State University. She taught painting and design in the Department of Art at Fort Hays State University in Hays KS. Kuchar received a Mid-America Arts Alliance fellowship sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, and she was given the Kansas Governor’s Arts Award in 1993. Her watercolor monotype works are whimsical with animal and architectural shapes interacting in dream-like landscapes. She says: “My love for watercolor monotype started in 1991 when I studied at the Santa Reparata Graphic Art Studio in Florence, Italy.” She says that watercolor monotypes are a hybrid between painting and printmaking, which allows for spontaneous expression with immediate results. There are no editions since these



prints are one-of-a-kind. She adds: “I use watercolors and/or crayons to create an image on a Plexiglas plate. I have learned that this process can be very simple or more complex by using two plates, adding rubbings to create textures or adding chine-collé. I often will go back into the printed image with acrylics or colored pencils to modify or enhance. The sky is the limit.” She continues to teach a few watercolor monotype workshops out of her home studio. Kuchar’s work is represented by the Hand Artes Gallery in Truchas NM. Painter and educator



Janet Kuemmerlein – Photograph taken in her Central Street studio in Kansas City MO on May 20, 1982. Her quite large woven wall hangings of flowing multicolored yarns are available for public viewing in many commercial establishments, libraries, banks and offices in Kansas City and elsewhere. For example, one of her commissioned works is located in Anchorage, Alaska. It is 5 feet high and 50 feet wide. Kuemmerlein started out as a fiber artist in the 1960s. She remembers when weavers working as she did were first being seen as fine artists – like painters and sculptors – and came to be called fiber artists. She says: “I make art because I have to do it.” She was a member of the Kansas City Artist Coalition. Her work is represented by Leawood Fine Art, Leawood KS. Independent fiber artist.



Sherry Cromwell-Lacy – Photograph taken in the lobby outside the Charlotte Crosby Kemper Gallery in the Kansas City Art Institute on December 1, 1982. She was a guest speaker in the Department of Art, Kansas State University. Cromwell-Lacy held positions as Director of Exhibitions, Director of the Visiting Artist Program, and Administrative Director of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and Design. As a curator for three decades, Cromwell-Lacy has written and designed numerous catalogues concerning contemporary art, architecture, and design. She was a past president of the Mid-America College Art Association. She has served on several boards related to the visual arts. As board member and Vice President of The Writers Place, Kansas City she chaired Poets-at-Large from1996 through 2006 and curated The Writers Place Image/Text gallery in the same years. Gallery director and curator.



Don Lambert – Photograph outside the Krens’ Bertrand home on July18, 1985. Don Lambert was a young reporter at the Ottawa Herald in Ottawa KS when he discovered Elizabeth Layton’s drawing done in a freshman drawing class exhibited in the Ottawa University student union. He examined her work and arranged an exhibition of her drawings which toured throughout Kansas. Lambert introduced her work to museum curators all over the country. He worked independently as a strong and tireless promoter of the visual arts and as an advocate for artists in Kansas. Arts advocate, writer and promoter of artists.



Ellen Lanyon – Photograph taken outside the Krens’ home on Bertrand Street on October 5, 1976 She was a guest speaker at the Department of Art at Kansas State University, Manhattan. Lanyon had 75 solo exhibitions and eleven museum exhibitions including three major traveling retrospectives. She taught at the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as at Cooper Union and the School of Visual Arts, both in New York City. Her work is included in numerous public and private collections. And her honors include two National Endowment for the Arts grants, a Fulbright, and an honorary doctorate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Lanyon created many works of animals interacting with man-made objects in unexpected, fantastical ways. Critic Lucy Lippard wrote in May 1983 that “in fact the dry touch of regionalism is a unique and important part of Lanyon’s art. She is a rare and particularly American breed – an honest, accessible, visionary artist, not unaware of, but resolutely independent of the imposed main stream of fashion.” She was married to Roland Ginzel, a Chicago painter. The primary representative for Ellen Lanyon’s work is Chicago’s Valerie Carberry. Painter and educator. Deceased.



Pok Chi Lau – Photograph taken on August 18, 1984 while he was on a photographic assignment at the home of a family in Lawrence KS. Lau teaches photography in the Design Department of the School of Fine Arts at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. He was born in Hong Kong in 1950 and migrated to Canada and then to America. His photographs document the Chinese diaspora from China to America and other parts of the world. Photographer and educator.



Ann Lawrence – Photograph taken outside her Lawrence Gallery, Kansas City, MO on May 24, 1980. She and her husband, Sidney, moved from New York City to Kansas City in 1949. They established the Lawrence Gallery, which was the first commercial art gallery in Kansas City, selling the works of the New York artists of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Gallery owner. Deceased.



Susan Lawrence – Photograph taken outside her Lawrence Gallery in Kansas City, MO, May 24, 1980. In the 1970s she joined her mother, Ann Lawrence in the gallery. She and her mother organized the Kansas Art Gallery Association and initiated the tradition of simultaneous art openings which are now known as “First Fridays.” When her mother retired in1984, Susan Lawrence and Sally Batz merged their galleries as the Batz/Lawrence Gallery until it closed in 1988. It is through Susan Lawrence Fine Arts that Susan Lawrence sells art from the inventory of the Lawrence Gallery. Her collection consists of artists from New York in the 30s, 40s and 50 -- Philip Evergood, Moses Soyer, Raphael Soyer, Chaim Gross, Ben Shahn and Leonard Baskin. Gallery owner.



Elizabeth Layton – Photograph taken outside her home in Wellsville KS on August 22, 1989. She was called “Grandma Layton.” Layton says that she grew up in a well-educated, high-minded family that ran a local newspaper in Wellsville. She venerated her father, whose civic activities gained him a seat in the state legislature. She began to draw in the fall of 1977 when she was 68 years old. Don Lambert was very influential in getting national attention for her work. He says: “She looked into her looking glass and drew herself -- just as she would often picture herself with her husband and their life together in Wellsville KS. These blind contour self-portraits, besides reflecting the hopes and fears of the world, allowed her to win a 30-year struggle with depression.” Independent artist. Deceased.



Elizabeth Layton – Photograph taken with her husband, Glenn, outside their home on 3rd Street in Wellsville KS on May 29, 1982. Independent artist. Deceased.



Stanley Lewis – Photograph taken in his studio on McGee Street in Kansas City MO on October 16, 1982. As a student at Yale University, he worked with Leland Bell and Bernard Chaet. Lewis taught painting at the Kansas City Art Institute, 1969-1986. Lewis is professor emeritus in the Department of Art at American University, Washington DC, where he taught from 1990 through 2002. Also, he was a guest lecturer and visiting artist at over thirty colleges or institutes. In his work there are convoluted perspectival views of both landscapes and interiors and of the threshold between them. His work is represented by the Betty Cuningham Gallery, New York NY. Lewis is the Frances Niederer artist-in-residence at Hollins University in Roanoke VA. Painter and educator.



Diane Thomas Lincoln – Photograph taken outside of her West Douglas Street home, Wichita KS on October 1, 1982. She taught classes in the Art Department at Wichita State University. Her husband, Gary, said that she gave out good information to her students such as the likelihood of getting a job after graduation: “She laid it all out.” Her work focused on social injustice, poverty and the homage she paid to Holocaust survivors. Artist and educator. Deceased.



Denise Low – Photograph taken at her Stratford Road home in Lawrence KS on November 19, 1993. She was an administrator and a professor at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence KS. The forced movement of the Delaware and other indigenous peoples from their ancestral homes ultimately to Kansas or Oklahoma still reverberates through the lives of their descendants. In her book The Turtle’s Beating Heart, One Family’s story of Lenape Survival reflects her upbringing and lives of her more recent ancestors in the Flint Hills of the prairies of Kansas. Low received the honor of being the second Kansas Poet Laureate in 2007-2009. She is the author of ten collections of poetry and six books of essays, including a biography of Langston Hughes (co-authored with Tom Wesco) and Touching the Sky, a book of Low’s essays published in 1994 with Kansas landscape photographs by George Kren. Low says: “In general it is hard for Kansas poets to ignore the sky, the weather, the individualistic characters and history of the state. Stars are in there too.” She feels her appreciation of nature is perhaps one of the most important aspects of her Lenape heritage. Writer, poet, educator and administrator.



Peter Marcus – Photograph taken outside the Krens’ home on Bertrand Street on April 14, 1986. Marcus was a guest speaker at the Department of Art at Kansas State University, Manhattan. He taught painting and printmaking at the School of Fine Arts at Washington University, St. Louis MO. Marcus says he likes to “combine the opposites of grand scale and intimacy” in his work. He now lives and works in Jamestown RI. His work is represented by Bruno David Gallery in St. Louis MO. Painter, printmaker and educator.



Graham Marks – Photograph taken at the beach at Tuttle Creek north of Manhattan KS on April 9, 1978. He was a professor who taught ceramics in the Department of Art at Kansas State University, Manhattan. Marks left to become head of the ceramics area at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, which is a part of Alfred University, New York from 1986 to1992. He became a successful artist and teacher, exhibiting and lecturing internationally. He now has a successful practice as an acupuncturist in Alfred NY, and he has a clinic at the Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville NY. He has not worked with clay since 1992. Instead, as he says, he works with “ the human clay.” He is married to the writer Megan Marks. Ceramic artist, educator and acupuncturist.



Glenice Matthews – Photograph taken in her home on Everett Street in Wichita KS on October 1, 1982. She was director of the Wichita Center for the Arts, Wichita KS for a short time before she returned to her home in Australia in 1989. Matthews found life “down under� difficult as she struggled to obtain a university position. She says that doors were closed to her because of her American-style training while Australia still looked toward the English academic system. Glenice co-authored the book Enamels, Enameling and Enamellists with Peter Matthews. She worked in the commercial industry for thirteen years as a jewelry designer and general manager of various prestigious jewelry companies. In 2002 she took a brave step and started her own atelier. Matthews was editor of the Australian Enamel Newsletter, which had subscribers across Australia and worldwide. She lived in Swanbourne, Western Australia and pursued a full-time business with commissions from churches and private clientele. Independent Jewelry designer. Deceased.



Judith Burns-McCrea – Photograph taken inside her home-studio on Emporia Street in Wichita KS on December 16, 1985. She was chair of the Department of Art at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, from 1993 to 2006, and she received the Kansas Governor’s Arts Award in 2000. In Paraguay, she taught and exhibited under the auspices of the exchange program Partners of America, based in Washington DC and later was a representative of the U.S. government through a grant from the United States Information Agency. Judith’s large figurative oil paintings distill both personal themes and influences from her extensive travel in Mexico and South America. Her work is represented by the Davis Dominguez Gallery, Tucson AZ. Painter and administrator.



David Melby – Photograph taken inside his Leavenworth KS home on November 4, 1983. Melby was a talented landscape artist. He taught in the Department of Art at Saint Mary College in Leavenworth KS and he also taught in the Federal Penitentiary in Leavenworth KS. Painter and educator. Deceased.



Hugh Merrill – Photograph taken outside of the Krens’ Bertrand home on April 22, 1995. He was a visiting artist for three days in the Department of Art at Kansas State University, Manhattan. His grandfather Hugh Davis Merrill was a state judge and Lieutenant Governor of Alabama. His father worked with the Democratic Party, advising John Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, and Lyndon Johnson on agricultural issues. Merrill teaches printmaking and community arts at the Kansas City Art Institute. Adelia Ganson wrote in the Review magazine: “Merrill is less interested in editions than the manipulations of the print matrix itself, with the underlying interest in simultaneously constructing the image and deconstructing the etching plate. A series exemplifies a mode of production where multiple stages of the same etching plate are printed and almost immediately re-worked.” His work is represented by Todd Weiner Gallery, Kansas City MO. Printmaker and educator.



Mira Merriman – Photograph taken in her office in the McKnight Art Center at Wichita State University on October 1, 1983. She was a professor of art history at Wichita State University in Wichita. She was born in Poland in 1932 and came to America in 1941. Merriman, a specialist in Italian Baroque Art, published the catalogue raisonné of the work of Giuseppe Maria Crespi (1665-1747). She says: “One could say I am the expert in the world since I get photographs of new found Crespi paintings to this day for authentication from galleries such as Sotheby’s.” In1965 she founded the art history program at Wichita State University, and upon her retirement the lecture hall where she taught was named after her. The book The Flowering of the Kings was written by Jim Merriam, her husband. Art history professor. Deceased.



Michael Meyers – Photograph taken in his Chicago apartment on Grand Street on December 30, 1984. He taught at the Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City MO. Meyers, born in 1939 to a successful Chicago furniture store owner and his wife, turned away from making pictures that would go above furniture. He describes his work as “taking raw material of thoughts that lay half way between casual conversations and dreams that flow without transition and begin to sound like the voices within our subconscious or memory.” His works are autobiographical. He does not “separate life from art.” In the early 1970s he rented a Kansas City store front-window and with the help of many other artists performed for people passing in the street. In 1983, he moved to Chicago where he lives now with his wife, Janet Meyers, a writer. They both teach at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Michael Meyers has produced sound works, and he is now “writing stories and short shorts.” Educator, writer, painter and performance artist.



Lee Ann Miller – Photograph taken outside at the Krens’ Bertrand home on November 21,1976. Miller was a guest speaker in the Department of Art at Kansas State University. She was a professor in the Department of Art at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. In her work, Miller says she “explores forms in nature through observation and memory until a simulation of reality emerges in the abstract forms.” She produced a suite of lithographs at Tamarind in New Mexico. In 1978 Miller became the fourth president of the National Women’s Caucus of Art. In 1981, she set up the first official regional WCA chapter, Kansas City in 1974. In 1981, Miller became the Dean of Cooper Union School of Art in New York City, where she was a professor of art. Painter, educator and administrator.



Lillian Miller – Photograph taken on November 11, 1977 outside the Krens’ Bertrand Street home. She was a guest lecturer at the Department of Art at Kansas State University. As an historian from the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC she brought to life the little-known four generations of the Charles Wilson Peale family. Her book In the Minds and Hearts of the People, Prologue to the American Revolution: 1760-1774 examines American portraiture as an historical phenomenon shown through the individual personalities of the artists. She helped curate the major Peale exhibitions held at the National Gallery and the Metropolitan Museum in New York. In a letter to George Kren in 1978 about the photographs he had taken of her, she said: “These photographs are beautiful – not because they make me beautiful but that they are so true and alive not to flatter but to reveal.” She asked if she could use the photograph he took for her forthcoming book, Art in American Civilization. Historian. Deceased.



Myra Morgan – Photograph taken outside the Morgan Gallery on Walnut Street in Kansas City’s historic River Market district on May 20, 1998. Mo Dickens, gallery assistant at the Belger Arts Center, speaks of the time when Jim and Myra Morgan arrived in Kansas City in the 1960s: “They found an art scene that rarely celebrated contemporary artists. Myra opened a gallery in a one-car garage, just west of the Kansas City Plaza. And soon she moved into larger quarters on 5006 State Line road and she brought in art and artists from around the world – Claes Oldenburg, Richard Estes, Roy Lichtenstein and others. Locals like Niewald, Eldred and Ferguson from the Kansas City Art Institute were given shows. The Morgans were successful in choosing many good artists and getting good work from them. The art world is a tough business and a hard one in which to make a living.” Jim died in a motorcycle accident in the early 1980s. Myra kept running the gallery and moved the gallery from State Line road to 1616 Westport Road and then later she moved the gallery to 5332 west 67th street. And there was another move to 819 Walnut street. She turned the gallery on Walnut Street over to her son, Dennis, in 2000 and he moved the gallery to 2011 Tracy Ave. Meanwhile Myra and her partner, Dick Belger, were launching the Belger Arts Center, a non-profit space located in the Belger Cartage Building on 2100 Walnut Street, Kansas City MO located in the Crossroads Arts District. Myra battled lung cancer for two years and died in 2005. Gallery owner. Deceased.



Jim Munce – Photograph taken on the deck of the Krens’ Tatarrax Drive home on Sunday, July 4, 1993. He taught printmaking in the Department of Art at Kansas State University, Manhattan. In 1972 Munce began working as a printmaker. He said: ”I think that I am primarily a story teller. My function as a visual artist is to create a three-dimensional structure on a two-dimensional surface that will best contain the story I am telling. I am always trying to create an interior in which my main characters can exist, and somehow become transformed and altered through an event.” His work is represented by the Kiechel Fine Art gallery in Lincoln NE. Printmaker and educator.



Ed Navone – Photograph taken inside of the Department of Art at Washburn University, Topeka on February 27, 1984. George Kren caught Navone in a photograph as he had just stepped outside his studio. Navone always wore plastic gloves when he was at work in his painting studio. He taught painting in the Department of Art. He became professor emeritus in 2007 and remained in Topeka to continue painting. His work is represented by the Leedy-Voulkos Art Gallery in Kansas City MO. Painter and educator.



Wilbur Niewald – Photograph taken in his studio in the Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City on September 17, 1982. He taught painting at the Kansas City Art Institute. Giving a reminder of Niewald’s strong work ethic, Dana Self, former contemporary art museum curator now freelance art reviewer, writes of frequently seeing him at work at his easel in Loose Park and other various parts of Kansas City. She says: “Within his work, a lifetime of study there is absolutely nothing vulnerable and confrontational but all is silent and tranquil.” He received a 2006 Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in New York. His work is represented by the Haw Contemporary Gallery, Kansas MO. Painter and educator.



Andrea Norris – Photograph taken outside the Krens’ Bertrand Street home on November 3, 1988. Norris was a guest speaker in the Department of Art at Kansas State University. She was director at the Spencer Museum of Art in Kansas University in Lawrence KS. She is now an independent fine arts professional in the Lawrence KS area. Museum director.



Jack O’Shea – Photograph taken in1969 at a party held by Alan Shields in his rented house in Manhattan KS during the time he was at Kansas State University as an art student. O’Shea, a professor of printmaking in the Department of Art at Kansas State University, was commissioned to produce a gift print for the Friends of the Beach Museum, Beach Museum of Art at Kansas State University. He spent long summers hours working in Bowdoin College, Brunswick ME in a summer stock theater company. He was hired as part of the tech-crew to work on sets. He said: “It was an exciting time; I met many actors and actresses from New York City.” Printmaker and educator.



Michael Ott – Photograph taken outside his Crescent Street home in Lawrence KS on October 21, 1983. Ott began teaching painting and sculpture in 1969. He served as chair of the Department of Art at University of Kansas, Lawrence until his accidental death in 1995. He received a Kansas Governor’s Arts Award from the Kansas Art Commission. In 1989, he received the Borchard Foundation Grant in Chateau de la Bretesche, France and a fellowship from the Getty Foundation. He was one of the original stock-holders in the Garden of Eden, Inc., a group formed to save and preserve the Dinsmore naïve-art home and sculptural environment in Lucas KS. Ott was best known for his T-shirt paintings with running commentary on everything from a 1988 basketball national championship to his love of family. He said he made the painting of “a 70s disco shirt to poke fun at who we are.” His work was represented by Leedy Voulkos gallery in Kansas City. Painter and educator. Deceased.



David Perkins – Photograph taken outside of his home on Walnut Street, Kansas City MO (date unknown). He was a guest lecturer in the Department of Art at Kansas State University, Manhattan. Perkins worked as a free-lance writer and editor of Chouteau Review, a literary journal in Kansas City. He wrote reviews of books for the Kansas City Star. Twice he received creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. For his work Wrapped Minds, a collection of reviews and short essays, he was awarded the Thorpe Menn Award for literary achievement. Perkins took his own life in 2009 after a year of fighting lymphoma. Steve Paul, senior editor of the Star, wrote a tribute to Perkins with the headline “A tart, tongue, a mighty pen; David Perkins leaves a legacy of community activism and incisive, unflinching writing.” He went on to say: “Perkins was a public intellectual in a place that has little use for the kind of argumentative opposition they often represent.” There was a piece in the Star Magazine in which Perkins wrote about “the pleasures of gardening, which is, like writing, another often-solitary pursuit.” Writer and editor. Deceased.



Larry Peters and Barbara Waterman-Peters – Photograph taken outside the Krens’ home on Bertrand Street in Manhattan on July 3, 1987. They had been married a few months before this photograph was taken. In 1972 Larry, a ceramicist, became the Topeka Shawnee County Public Library’s art director and curator of the permanent collection. The library’s art collection began in the late 1800s, making it the first public art collection in Topeka. Plans for a major renovation for the Library began with an invitation made by a local Topeka firm to a firm in Kansas City that was already working with a world-famous architect, Michael Graves. Peters remembers that there was not competition but an invitation was made to Graves. Larry Peters in preparation for the renovation wrote up a seven-page document for the new gallery including a loading dock, crate storage, lighting system, temperature/humidity control, neutral color (and not the old standard of all white). Also, he wanted an exhibition prep room as part of the gallery area which could be used for storage for incoming and outgoing art works. Also, security issues were addressed.





Ben Pickard – Photograph taken outside his art gallery, the Ben Pickard Gallery, on 7108 Northwestern in Oklahoma City OK in the 1970s. As a gallery owner, he introduced many accomplished regional artists to Oklahoma City and surrounding region. Later he moved his gallery to 8100 North Classen Blvd. Gallery owner.



Mary Lisa Pike – Photograph taken outside of the Prospect Restaurant, Kansas City MO, November 28, 1982. As owner of the Kellas Gallery, Lawrence, KS, she exhibited works of recognized and emerging Kansas artists. She bought the gallery from former owner Judi Kellas. Gallery owner.



Jane Pronko – Photograph taken outside her studio in the Westport district of Kansas City on June 4, 1982. She said of her portrait: “At the time I thought I looked too fierce. Now I like the photograph that George Kren took of me a lot because I look so young and my hair looks better than usual. I needed to be fierce to survive what was to come. I always knew it was a good photograph but it looked perhaps too much like me.” She held a practice in physical therapy before she eventually committed herself to being an artist. She took painting classes in the studio of Philomene Bennett and art classes at Johnson County Community College. Pronko served a term as president of the Kansas City Artists Coalition. She was an instructor at Avila College and at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Pronko is a painter of urban night life. Her studio is located in the River Market district in Kansas City. Her work is in corporate collections such as Hallmark Cards and Kansas City Power and Light. Her work was represented by the Morgan Gallery, Kansas City and the Saude Webster Gallery, Philadelphia PA “at one time but they are no longer in business.” The three galleries that do represent her work are The Late Night Show operated by Tom Deatherage in Kansas City, Eva Reynolds of the Fine Arts in Oak Park KS; and Larry Roots at Arts Midwest in Omaha NE. Painter and educator.



David Ray – Photograph taken in Swope Park near his home on Crestwood Drive in Kansas City on October 4, 1987. Ray is an American poet, who is professor emeritus at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. He has twice won the William Carlos Williams Award, and he received a National Endowment for the Arts grant. Ray was founding editor of New Letters Magazine at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He is married to the writer Judy Ray. Both are now living and working in Tucson AZ. Judy played a significant role in the production and management of the arts magazine Helicon Nine in Kansas City. Writer and educator.



Howard Sands Rogovin – Photograph taken near his Melrose Street painting studio in Iowa City IA on April 14, 1979. He was a professor of painting and drawing in the School of Art and Art History at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Rogovin says that before retirement he would devote one semester teaching at the University of Iowa and the next semester with his partner, Gretchen Caracas, enjoying “a quiet life, painting and gardening in Baleares, Spain.” Painter and educator.



Novelene Ross – Photograph taken in front of the Wichita Art Museum in Wichita KS on September 4, 1982. She was curator of education at the Wichita Art Museum in Wichita KS from 1973 to 1989, and she was chief curator from 1990 to 2000. She later served as acting director for one year as well as chief curator. Curator and artist.



Tom Russell – Photograph taken outside his home on Grove Street in Baldwin City KS on March 8, 1983. He studied at the Kansas City Art Institute with Thomas Hart Benton in the late 1930’s. Russell became professor of painting and drawing in the Kansas City Art Institute. Later he was invited to go to Baker University in Baldwin City KS to build a department of art and teach painting and drawing. The department has grown through the years with additional art faculty members. Painter and educator.



Jim Sajovic – Photograph taken outside on the Kansas City Art Institute on December 1, 1982. Sajovic teaches painting at the Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City MO. He began teaching in 1971. In the last decade, his work has become more digitized. He develops a painting on his computer, prints it on canvas, seals it, and then works over it with acrylic paint. He says he uses “words and phrases spelled out in different colors and sizes over blurred faces that have gained an iconic quality. The impulse is there to read the text but the hazy faces staring back from underneath are too disconcerting for that to happen.” Someone described his work as similar to “a mind cacophony of competing messages.” His work is represented by the Todd Weiner Gallery, Kansas City KS. Painter and educator.



Reuben Saunders – Photograph taken outside his Reuben Saunders Gallery on Washington Street in Wichita KS on September 4, 1980. Reuben’s gallery was a significant gallery in the 1980s for showing Kansas and regional art. Saunders has since moved to several locations over the years and the name of the gallery changed to the Art Works. In 2015, the gallery moved to a new location in the Wichita Design District on Douglas Street, Wichita KS and the gallery name was changed back to the Reuben Saunders Gallery. Gallery owner.





Marjorie Schick – Photograph taken outside a restaurant in Wichita KS on September 4, 1982. Schick teaches in the Department of Art at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg KS. Since 1966 Schick has been a pioneering artist in jewelry, influenced by the sculpture of David Smith. She was trained at first as a metalsmith. And her work has roots in jewelry, but she has pushed it as far toward sculpture as she could without making it so. Schick regards the body as “living sculpture.” She constructs pieces of sculpture from painted wooden rods in stunningly large sizes. She often uses papier-mâché in these works. A brooch can extend far across the wearer’s shoulders to enliven the surrounding space. Her husband comments: “Even early on in her career when she would show her work to museums and galleries, and they were amazed when she said she was from Kansas.” Her work is represented in the Tansey Contemporary Art Gallery in Santa Fe NM. Jeweler and educator.



Shirley Luke Schnell – Photograph taken outside her Mineral Hall studio at the Kansas City Art Institute on June 4, 1982. Schnell was a guest speaker at Kansas State University on October 17, 1989. She has a Masters of Fine Arts from Yale University. Schnell was a MacDowell Colony Fellow in1976. She was the first Missouri Art Council grantee and an Andrew Mellon grantee. She was given a Mid-America Arts Alliance and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Missouri Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Schnell taught painting at the Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City MO. She was married to the photographer Lloyd Schnell. Painter, and educator.



Beth Schultz – Photograph taken in front of the Krens’ home on Bertrand Street in Manhattan KS on April 6, 1987. Schultz was a professor in the English Department at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. Schultz has a passion for whales. In 1995, her work Unpainted to the Last: Moby Dick and Twentieth-Century Art was published. She curated a traveling exhibition by the same title. In conjunction with the opening of the exhibition at the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, there was a symposium sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. On one of her many trips to China she co-curated a conference on ecocriticism in Beijing, sponsored by Tsinghua University, entitled Beyond Thoreau: Literature and the Environment in the Twenty-First Century. She commented: “George Kren remains for me a person of integrity, imagination, courage, and great kindness. He believed that a love of art, nature, and life would lift our spirits.” Writer and educator.



Franz Schulze – Photograph taken in Lake Forest IL on August 2, 1976. He was a guest art historian in the Department of Art at Kansas State University, Manhattan. He was a professor of art and architectural history at Lake Forest College in Lake Forest IL. Schulze coined the label Chicago Imagist in his book Fantastic Imagists, linking the 1960s groups with the Monster Roster artists based on their existential, sometimes gruesome, semi-mystical figure work, which emerged in the late 1940s. Schulze was a colleague of George Kren at Lake Forest College, where they both taught in the early 1960s. Art historian and educator.



Kathleen Shanahan – Photograph taken outside in the Krens’ Bertrand Street home on October 2, 1986. Shanahan was a guest speaker in the Department of Art at Kansas State University, Manhattan. She taught painting in the Department of Art at Wichita State University, Wichita KS. Kathleen received a grant to fund research for a stay in 1981 to 1982 at the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka, Japan. She said: “My images are usually combines where disparate elements and characters share sometimes unlikely contexts. My ‘methodology’ often involves juxtaposition and collage in order to arrive at an image that implies a narrative.” Her work is represented by Viridian Artists in New York City. Painter and educator.



Alan Shields – Photograph taken during the hanging of his show at the K-State Union Gallery at Kansas State University, Manhattan on September 12, 1976. A couple of years later Shields asked George Kren if he could use the photograph for one of his exhibition catalogues. He was born on a farm in Herington KS where he learned to sew from his mother and sister, a skill he would later use in his very vibrant stained cloth collages, which have links to Pattern and Decoration, a style of art from the late 1970s. He studied engineering, theater and art at Kansas State University. Jack O’Shea said of Alan: “They don’t come like that very often.” Shields left without a degree, headed for New York and quickly had a show there at the notable Paula Cooper Gallery. His ascent to the top of the art world was rapid, and until the end of his life he continued to work on his farm on Shelter Island NY. Independent painter. Deceased.



Roger Shimomura – Photograph taken outside the Krens’ Bertrand home possibly in 1982. In Shimomura’s Pop Art style and cartoon imagery he set up a comparison between contemporary America and traditional Japan. He says: “I have often told my students that if making art is of paramount importance in their lives and that if they are to commit themselves to hard work and maintain an engaged mind, they will eventually be able to free themselves of everything they have learned about art. I know from my own experience that I have found this to be true.” The Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle WA represents his work. Painter, printmaker, performance artist and educator.



Roger Shimomura and Janet Davidson-Hues – Photograph taken on the deck of Krens’ Tatarrax Drive home in Manhattan, September 14, 1997. Shimomura was a guest speaker of the Department of Art at Kansas State University. He was a professor of painting at the University of Kansas in Lawrence in 1969-2004. His works address socio-political issues of Asian-Americans. His paintings are inspired by the diaries of his late immigrant grandmother covering 56 years. In 2008 the Beach Museum of Art at Kansas State University mounted a solo exhibition of his work. He received a Kansas Governor’s Arts Award. Roger’s partner, Janet Davidson-Hues, speaks of her art works: “The book in many forms has served as an anchor for my work for the past 15 years. I continue to examine the book as a repository of culture, memory and the narrative containing metaphorical weight and meaning and standing for devotion to education and a certain authority, which I embrace and challenge. On the one hand the book and language speak of male dominance and on another hand the book serves as a metaphor for woman -something to read, to be bought and sold, to be held, to be taken to bed.” Davidson-Hues’ work is represented by Cider Gallery, Lawrence KS. Shimomura: Painter, printmaker, performance artist, and educator. Davidson-Hues: Independent multimedia artist and performance artist.



Mike Sims – Photograph taken in his Lawrence workshop in Lawrence KS on January 1, 1982. Sims started out working at Landfall Press in Chicago, which was founded by Jack Lemon. And he spent a brief time teaching printmaking in the Department of Art at the University of Kansas before establishing his own shop. Sims is a master printer and founder of The Lawrence Lithography Workshop on 7 East 7th Street in Lawrence KS. He eventually moved the shop to Sunland Park NM for a brief time. And then Dick Belger and Mira Morgan invited Sims to bring his shop to the Belger Art Center in the Crossroads District of Kansas City MO. A few artists who have worked with Sims are Robert Stackhouse, Jayne Quick-to-see Smith, and Luis Jimenez. The center was set up as a space to provide exhibitions and programs to the public. Master printer and owner of a lithography workshop.



Robert Soppelsa – Photograph taken with his wife, Betty Soppelsa, on the deck of the Krens’ home on Tatarrax Drive in Manhattan KS on June 13, 1997. He was hired to teach African art in the Department of Art at Washburn University in Topeka KS in 1981. Sappelsa assumed the duties of acting director of the Mulvane Museum of Art at Washburn University in1995, and he was appointed director in 1996. In 2002, he moved to Washington DC to become senior curator for the United States Department of State/Art in Embassies. Museum director, curator and educator.



Michael Stack – Photograph taken on June 4, 1982 at the Holland residence on Belleview Street in Kansas City. At the time, he was painting murals on ceilings and walls in Kansas City homes. Years later he also executed many commissioned paintings, some were thousands of square feet in size on large interior walls in commercial spaces in Kansas City. These were an outgrowth of his earlier custom residential paintings. He invented his own tools and techniques to orchestrate the non-traditional layers of color. In some of his works he used the tetrahelical concept of R. Buckminister Fuller. Some works can be lit with fiber optics. Independent muralist.



Craig Allen Subler – Photograph taken near his campus office at the University of Missouri at Kansas City on September 17, 1982. As Director of the Fine Arts Gallery, University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC), in the Fine Arts Building on Holmes Street, he curated more than 80 exhibitions and edited fifteen exhibition catalogues that received national and international attention. He continues to oversee the printmaking program at (UMKC) and Hand Print Press. His work was represented by the Morgan Gallery in Kansas City MO. Gallery director, curator, printmaker and educator.



Robert Sudlow – Photograph taken outside his home on East 1050 Road, south of Lawrence KS on February 26, 1983. Later Sudlow asked to use the photograph taken by George Kren for the dust jacket of the book of his work Landscapes in Kansas. The house he lived in was formerly owned by the writer and artist William Burroughs. Sudlow studied with Albert Bloch at the University of Kansas and with Richard Diebenkorn at the California College of Arts and Crafts. He was the first artist to be given the Kansas Governor’s Arts Award. He painted every day in all seasons and found it a form of meditation. He was attracted to ditches and hedge rows. Before he started his work on ditches and hedgerows, he said: “I’d like to try to do something with it.” He was a professor of painting in the Department of Art at University of Kansas, Lawrence. His work was represented by the American Legacy Gallery in Kansas City MO. Painter and educator. Deceased.



Sandra Sugar – Photograph taken in her studio home on West 86th in Prairie Village KS, October 16, 1982. Independent painter.



Andrew Jay Svedlow – Photograph taken outside of the Krens’ Bertrand Street home in Manhattan KS on September 6, 1988. He was a guest lecturer at the Department of Art at Kansas State University. Svedlow was director of the Mulvane Museum of Art, Washburn University, Topeka KS until 1989. Later he was President of the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester NH. And then he was Dean of the College of Performing and Visual Arts at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley. Svedlow was a 2007 Fulbright Scholar for International Education Administrators Program to Japan and was a 2010 Fulbright Scholar to the Ukraine. Svedlow commented about George Kren: “I admired George for his distinguished career as an historian and as a brilliant interpreter of the Holocaust. His escape from Austria and the Holocaust in 1939 as a child with his younger sister and his subsequent service in the US Army in Europe during WW ll are reminders for me of his courage, his sense of duty and honor. He was a true gentle-man. His keen intellect and well-honed photographic eye have created a potent aesthetic legacy.” Museum director, art historian and painter.



John Talleur – Photograph taken in Talleur’s studio in his Concord Road home in Lawrence KS. (date unknown) Talleur taught printmaking in the Department of Art at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. He was married to Linda Sampson-Talleur, a printmaker, who now teaches in the foundations and letter press area of University of Kansas. Throughout his life, John Talleur accumulated an impressive print collection of works from the 15th century through the 20th century, works which he donated to the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas. He also donated 6 of his personal printing presses to the Lawrence Art Center. Ann Evans, then director, said: “The presses would fit nicely into the newly built center’s print studio.” Judi Kellas says:” My gallery represented Talleur’s art work for years and I sold his prints even some of the carved wood plates.” Printmaker and educator. Deceased.



Eldon Tefft – Photograph taken in the Jim Bass Studios and Foundry in Topeka KS on 61st Street on June 6, 1981, a day of the pouring of hot metal. He was a professor of sculpture in the Department of Art in the University of Kansas, Lawrence. Tefft is well known in Kansas for his sculpture Moses, which sits at the entry way of the University of Kansas Student Union as well as the sculpture Jay Hawk, seen in front of Strong Hall. Sculptor and educator. Deceased.



Nick Vacarro – Photograph taken at his home on Kansas Street, Lawrence on June 1,1984. Vacarro taught painting and drawing in the Department of Art at the University of Kansas and he was the chair of the department for four years. He was married to the ceramic artist Lu Vacarro. Lu commented on the photograph of Nick and Lu taken by George Kren. She had just purchased her hat at the Easter Hat Show in Lawrence, a handmade 20s flapper style cloche hat that she wore for the photograph. She recalled: “It was made out of a purple satin bra with girdle garters, very stylish! Nick wore a hat made out of a duck decoy.” Before Lu met Nick she had joined the U.S. Air Force. In Washington D.C. when he was working at the Pentagon. They met and got married. While Nick worked on his MFA from the University of California, Berkeley, Lu took ceramics classes. They moved to the University of Kansas, Lawrence in 1963, where, as Lu puts it: “they spent their lives together in their studios and being parents to Nick Jr. and dancing.” Painter and educator. Deceased.



Michael Walling – Photograph taken in the lobby of the Mulvane Museum of Art at Washburn University, Topeka KS on February 27, 1984 during a Kansas City Artists Coalition Exhibition opening. He is a professor of painting and drawing with the Kansas City Art Institute. Walling was a president of the Kansas City Artists Coalition. Painter and educator.



Jan Weiner – Photograph taken in her Topeka art gallery on January 17,1981. Weiner was owner of the Jan Weiner Gallery, located on Evening Side Street in Topeka KS. She moved the gallery to Liberty Street in the West Plaza area of Kansas City MO until its closing in 2010. An often-heard refrain of hers about the challenges she faced as an art dealer in Kansas City belied her considerable success: “Baby, I’m just trying to stay alive!” Jerry Skinner, Weiner’s longtime companion said: “For a little private gallery, if you look at the average sales it was several million dollars over the past 25 years.” Health problems forced her to retire to Jerry Skinner’s residence in Topeka and suspend the Jan Weiner gallery operations in Kansas City. Tom Deatherage, owner of The Late Night Show Gallery said: “I’ve always respected her, and I liked her hustle.“ John Ferry artist said: ”She had connections and every show I had got reviewed. “Larry Meeker art collector said: “Her big money years were the 80s. She was a perfect dealer for that particular era of excess. Weiner’s closing marks the sunset of a generation of dealers who dominated in the 80s and 90s. Dorry Gates and Myra Morgan have died. Artist’s will feel Weiner’s absence now.” Gallery owner. Deceased.



Ruth Weisberg – Photograph taken outside of the Krens’ Bertrand Street home on November 8, 1979. She was a guest lecturer in the Department of Art at Kansas State University, Manhattan. Weisberg was President of the College Art Association in 1990. She was Dean of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California. She received a Senior Research Fulbright to Italy in 1992. She serves now as Dean for the Roski School of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. When Ruth was in her 20s she saw her grandmother’s “memorial book” about the Polish Jews who had perished in the Holocaust, and she could not stop crying. Weisberg says: “If the premise of your work is that it is deeply entrenched in your life and experiences, the particulars -- the specificity – of your life can be transformed into something universal. I am particularly nourished by the history of the Jewish people and the unwritten history of women.” Her work is represented by the Jack Rutberg Fine Arts in Los Angeles CA. Printmaker, painter, educator and arts administrator.



Howard Edmund Wooden – Photograph taken outside the Wichita Art Museum in Wichita KS on September 4, 1982. He was Director of the Wichita Art Museum. The chief curator at the time, Novelene Ross, made the comment: “I always thought that George Kren’s photo of Director Howard E. Wooden was a gem, capturing the man’s cherished self-image of a world-weary boulevardier.” Museum director, curator and educator. Deceased.



Dan Younger – Photograph taken outside of the Krens’ Bertrand Street home, Manhattan KS in December 2, 1980. He was a guest speaker in the Department of Art in Kansas State University, Manhattan. In the 1970s Younger collaborated with Hugh Merrill and Doug Baker to open Squadron Press, one of the first art businesses and studios in the now famous Kansas City Crossroads arts district in downtown Kansas City. Their shop was located at 1919 Wyandotte. Jim Leedy, of the Leedy-Voulkos Gallery, is recognized as a founder of the Crossroads arts district. He played a pivotal role in the development of contemporary ceramics. Younger was a professor of art and a former chair of the Department of Art and Art History in the College of Fine Arts in the University of Missouri in St. Louis. Tom Marsh says about Younger’s work: “The transforming subject matter of his photographs is mostly the province of amateurs: vacations and children.” Marsh says: “Younger’s photographic project Travel Places does not merely document, beckoning you to wander in sublime space between first impressions and fond memory.” Dan Younger said about his own work: “The pictures are not complete . . . the message is somewhat obscured and people get to imagine what’s going on.” His work is represented in the Sheldon Galleries in St. Louis MO. Photographer, printmaker, educator and administrator.



Acknowledgements I could not have done this web book alone. I want to thank Kathy Edwards for the encouragement to make this project a web book and take it on line, Jahvelle Rhone, Cody Wilhelm, Rebecca Gould and her iTAC crew at Kansas State University, and Donald Mrozek for his endless kindness in giving my words the attention of a close read for clarity, and readability. Margo Kren April 23, 2017


George Michael Kren 1926-2000

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever . . . it remembers little things long after you have forgotten everything.� -Aaron Siskind







A photo of George Kren’s two camera cases.

It was a pleasure to get to know George Kren through the legacy of his photographs, and I’m certain that we would have gotten along very well. I hope that the viewers of this web book will feel the same appreciation for the photographs and the man who created them. Jon Blumb, May 12, 2017


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