The Kemper opened in 1994 with a donation from the museum’s founders, Bebe and Crosby Kemper. Its collection includes works by Louise Bourgeois, Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenberg and Robert Mapplethorpe. It puts on 10 to 12 special exhibitions annually. Along with regular exhibitions, the museum shows film series, performances, and offers lectures and workshops.
Since its founding, the museum has continued to grow. It has recently acquired works by Ellsworth Kelly, Helen Frankenthaler, Jules Olitski and Andrew Wyeth. Wyeth was also one of the subjects of a 2009 exhibition that focused on the three generations of artists in his family. Other notable, past exhibitions include 40 years of paintings by Dan Christensen, work by Tomoko Takahashi, and paintings by Jack Hughes.
The museum also puts on family-friendly programs. ArtReach — a partnership with the University of Kansas Medical Center’s Child Health and Development Center — offers free art workshops for kids. Scavenger Saturdays also encourage families to follow a self-guided activity tour through the museum.
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art Information
- Public Transportation: Good (Bus 57 at the Main and 44th St. stop is a 3-minute walk; bus 55 at the Gillham at Rockhill stop is a 7-minute walk)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: Tuesday–Thursday 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Friday–Saturday 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m., Sunday 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed Monday
- Admission: Free
- Tour: Free docent-led tours for ten or more are available by appointment, preferably made two weeks in advance
- Membership: Individual membership starts at $45; Dual/Family membership is $60. All members receive unlimited free admission to Museum exhibitions, special events, lectures, films, etc.; monthly Kemper Museum e-newsletters; invitations to exhibition opening receptions; and a 5% discount on all purchases in the Museum Shop
- Other Benefits: Members at the Director’s Circle level ($275) receive an invitation to participate in special programs, art tours, and trips; and a discount on use of the Museum Meeting Room during regular Museum hours.