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    Liberty Memorial & the National World War I MuseumLiberty Memorial and the National WWI Museum Kansas City, Missouri
    dedicated to the fallen heroes of World War I, the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri contains the National WWI museum, opening in 1926, and made a National Historic Landmark in 2006. It is situated in Penn Valley Park and designed by Harold Van Buren Magonigle, who had won the design competition that was held for that purpose. The approaches to the memorial were designed by Wight and Wight, with Robert Aiken, John Donnelly and Edmond Amateis among the sculptors that created some of the beautiful sculptures found there. The memorial does house the official WWI museum that contains the most relics and antiquities in the world from that horrible war. Also located on the grounds are two big sphinx sculptures and the showcase piece is a 217 foot tall tower that houses the museum beneath it and around it. The structure's design is called beaux-arts monumentalism and has a limestone exterior. The foundation had been built using sawed granite, while the exterior walls on the ground level are Bedford stone. The main entry doors were created from ornamental bronze, and the walls that are located on the first floor lobby were finished with Kasota stone that was quarried in Kasota, Minnesota. The grand stairway and first floor corridor were completed in travertine that had to be imported from Italy and the floors of the corridors and stairway treads made from Kasota marble and terrazzo, while the railing and balusters made from Italian travertine and Italian tavernelle clairemarble. This incredible monument even sprouts steam from the tower, at night, that is lit up with orange lights, thus creating the effect or illusion of a burning pyre that is viewable from long distances. The Great Frieze that is located on the memorial was created by Edmond Amateis, and the inscription reads, "These have dared bear the torches of sacrifices and service. Their bodies return to dust but their work liveth evermore. Let us strive to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." The museum describes and depicts the story about WWI and the global events that pertain to the origins before 1914 to the 1918 Armistice and 1919 Paris Peace Conference.

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    Kemper Museum of Contemporary ArtKemper Museum of Contemporary Art Kansas City, Missouri
    the Kemper opened in 1994 in Kansas City, Missouri, with a nucleus of the permanent collections coming from Bebe and R. Crosby Kemper, Jr., that help found the museum. This outstanding collection contains works that were created after the 1913 Armory Show to the current works by today's artists. These include Andrew Wyeth, Georgia O'Keefe, Frank Stella, Dale Chihuly, Stephen Scott Young, Arthur Dove, Fairfield Porter, Kojo Griffin, Louise Bourgeois, Marcus Antonio Jansen, Lesley Dill, Jim Hodges, Hung Liu, Romare Bearden, Wayne Thiebaud, Robert Mapplethorpe, Christian Boltanski and Garry Winogrand. The unique structure that houses this fabulous collection was built from 1992 to 1994, and designed by world renown architect, Gunnar Birkets. There is a huge central atrium that is set under an articulated skylight, with two wings spreading out from both sides, with the main gallery showcasing the works of the permanent collection and those exhibit works that are held in special exhibitions. The side galleries house the rotating exhibitions, with a big meeting room set up to showcase the works on paper and crafts from the permanent collection. Another interesting aspect of the museum is the Cafe Sebastienne restaurant that has combined the worlds of contemporary art and contemporary cuisine that is situated in the heart of the museum.

March 31, 2014