The sleek exterior of Kansas City’s Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, designed by Gunnar Birkerts, only hints at the activity within its walls. The open, light-filled atrium provides a striking setting for art activities in the Museum, which is accessible to all, free of charge, year-round. The permanent collection, temporary exhibitions, free public programs, special events, and the ever-popular Café Sebastienne provide endless opportunities for education and entertainment.
Since opening in 1994, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art has become a leader among modern and contemporary art museums in America. The Museum has always had a strong commitment to its mission: to present contemporary art of the highest quality and significance through a permanent collection and a balanced exhibition program, and to stimulate dialogue, understanding, and appreciation of contemporary art through free educational public programming. With nearly a dozen special exhibitions each year featuring works by well-known, mid-career, and emerging artists, the Kemper Museum almost always offers visitors a chance to experience something new.
The heart of the Museum is its permanent collection, which has more than tripled to nearly one thousand works in just over ten years time. At the core of the permanent collection is the Bebe and Crosby Kemper Collection, a gift by the Museum’s founders R. Crosby and Bebe Kemper and the Kemper Foundations. Encompassing art created from the time of the 1913 New York Armory Show to today, the collection includes works by such renowned artists as Dale Chihuly, Petah Coyne, Morris Louis, Georgia O’Keeffe, Fairfield Porter, Jaume Plensa, Matthew Ritchie, Wayne Thiebaud, and Andy Warhol.
The Museum’s celebrated Café Sebastienne serving lunch, dinner, and brunch has won high praise, including its inclusion in Zagat Guide’s Top American Restaurants. The unique environment of the Museum along with Café Sebastienne's artful creations also make the Museum an extraordinary place for special events. The Café serves lunch 11:00 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday; dinner 5:30–9:30 pm. Thursday and Friday; and brunch 11am–2:30pm, Sunday. For reservations, call 816-561-7740.
Museum admission and parking are always free. To learn more, visit www.kemperart.org or call 816-753-5784.