A few weeks ago my editor at Spaces, Zim Loy, called to ask if I could bring a couple of my chairs for a shoot. The images would accompany my latest article on collecting, um, chairs.
Absolutely, sure, fine, delighted, where?
“Kansas City Museum,” was her reply. I furrowed my brow and Zim read the silence correctly, not a dropped call, but confusion. “You’ve been there, right?”
“Well, no.” “You’ve never been to the Kansas City Museum?! The Long estate? You’ll die.”
“Oh. Ok.” Robert A. Long made his fortune in lumber long ago. I had been to Longview Farms, which was the Long family’s country retreat. Terrific. This would probably be good. I googled it and off I went.
The Beaux Arts home was completed in 1910. It was a private residence for 24 years. After Robert Long and his wife died and his children were hither and yon the house languished for a while until it was purchased to serve as a museum.
The black and white images here show the house when the Longs owned it; the later photos are of the house before the rooms were converted to exhibit space.
The building is currently undergoing an extensive renovation. It was certainly amazing to see it. I did not take pictures while we were there, but you can see the house in its current state here.
One of the initial phases of the renovation was the restoration and protection of the stained glass, which is wonderful, but I could not stop looking at the plaster work. Stunning. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.
For more information on the Long family, the house and the museum check out the Friends of the Kansas City Museum site here. Hard hat tours are available for members.
Images courtesy of the Kansas City Museum.