July began with a visit from a good friend and his son and ended with a visit from family. It was nice to have people around, but being a good host during a pandemic is a tough task. I traveled through more of the city than I have in almost two years. I also caught up with some favorite restaurants and museums across town. Work in studio was officially on hold for the whole month.
- The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art
Of course I’d end up there, I’ve actually snuck away a couple times since my vaccination to see somebody else’s paintings. It’s a joy to see somebody else’s work for a change. Being able to step out of my own critical thoughts while looking at art just felt like a vacation in itself. I also kinda got stuck looking at a Dutch Mannerist painting. ‘The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian’ by Joachim Wtewael really drew me in and dropped me down a giant mannerist rabbit hole.
- National World War I Museum
Visited one of my favorite museums in Kansas City. I love getting lost in the historical timelines as the horrors of this war unfold. Its absolutely one of the most overlooked events in the twentieth century that’s still affecting us today in countless ways.
- Negro Leagues Museum
Simultaneously displaying the best and worst of times for black ballplayers, this musuem is wildly rich in history and artifacts. The depth of racism and horror stories these players and Black America underwent for no reasons at all besides the color of their skin is jaw dropping. Still, the joy, mythology and enjoyment the ballplayers were able to build and foster through the Negro Leagues is an amazingly powerful story.
- TWA Museum
This is the most overlooked museum in the city. I took my family over to see this oft talked about gem at the downtown airport. Led by retired TWA employees, the tour starts off as a mind numbing trip through the history of TWA. From crop dusters to war effort planes, consolidation, dual engine jets and the swank joy flying used to be, this museum doesn’t skip a beat. It turns into overdrive as you walk into each of the sections of the museum. It’s still one of my favorite experiences in KC.
It was refreshing but draining to have so many people around after such a long layoff with scant visitors. The self imposed isolation of the pandemic never feels awkward until I’m around other people. Being in public isn’t a big draw for me these days, so being forced to get out a bit and stretch my legs was probably a good thing.
Refreshed and recharged with lots of visuals and stories from the museums had a great affect on me. Seeing family and friends was a welcome change of pace as well. Maybe August will be the month I start making some good progress on my studio work.