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Kemper Museum Expands into Crossroads

The Dolphin, 1901 Baltimore, in the Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City, Missouri.
photo: Laura Spencer/KCUR
The Dolphin, 1901 Baltimore, in the Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City, Missouri.

By Laura Spencer


Kansas City, MO – The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art announced plans Friday to Crossroads Arts District. KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.

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Museum founder R. Crosby Kemper, Jr. says they'd been looking for properties in the Crossroads for about a year. Contracts were signed today (Friday, December 7) to purchase the building now occupied by the Dolphin, a gallery and frame shop on the corner of 19th and Baltimore, and run by one of the pioneers of the district. Kemper says the new location will be called Kemper at the Crossroads.

R. Crosby Kemper, Jr.: "(We'll) emphasize local and regional artist shows, cutting edge art, have whatever's new there and be part of that whole burgeoning arts district at the Crossroads."

Kemper says the museum expects to move into the 19,000-square-foot space within the next few months.

Dolphin Gallery owner John O'Brien says the Kemper could take the district he helped pioneer nearly 2 decades ago to a new level.

John O'Brien: "I truly believe that the arts scene is no longer about a specific place...it's an attitude of a city. And we are known as an arts city. We've grown up and really matured. And I feel like it's time for me to have my next challenge and be able to make my next statement."

O'Brien says he's been scouting locations in the West Bottoms and expects to sign a contract on a new building for his frame shop and gallery in the next week. Laura Spencer, KCUR News.

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