Kansas City Art Institute

Coordinates: 39°02′47″N 94°34′59″W / 39.046253°N 94.58308°W / 39.046253; -94.58308
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kansas City Art Institute
The campus green at Kansas City Art Institute
TypePrivate art school
Established1885; 139 years ago (1885)
Academic affiliation
Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design
Academic staff
Students678 (Fall 2017)[1]
Location, ,

The Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) is a private art school in Kansas City, Missouri. The college was founded in 1885 and is an accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and Higher Learning Commission. The institute has approximately 75 faculty members and 700 students, and offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.


Mineral Hall at the Kansas City Art Institute

The school was founded in 1885 when art enthusiasts formed the "Sketch Club" with the purpose of "talking over art matters in general and to judge pictures." Meetings were originally in private homes and then moved to the Deardorf Building at 11th and Main in downtown Kansas City. The club had its first exhibition in 1887 and 12 benefactors stepped forward to form the Kansas City Art Association and School of Design.

In 1927, Howard Vanderslice purchased the August R. Meyer residence, a Germanic castle entitled Marburg and its 8-acre (3.24 ha) estate at 44th and Warwick Boulevard adjacent to the planned Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. A Wight and Wight addition was added to the building. The residence was later renamed "Vanderslice Hall" and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places along with another building on the campus—Mineral Hall. The campus has since expanded to 15 acres (6.07 ha).

In 1935, painter Thomas Hart Benton left New York City to teach at the school. Among the artists Benton influenced as a teacher at KCAI were Frederic James, Margot Peet, Jackson Lee Nesbitt, Roger Medearis, Glenn Gant, and Delmer J. Yoakum.[2] Though Benton brought attention to the Art Institute, he was dismissed in 1941 after making disparaging references to, as he claimed, the excessive influence of homosexuals in the art world.[3]

In 1992, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art opened on the west side of the campus. On the occasion of its 130th anniversary in 2015, the Kansas City Art Institute received an anonymous donation of $25 million, one of the largest gifts ever to an American art school. The money will be used to bolster the school's general endowment, improve and renovate its campus adjacent to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and, in the form of a challenge grant of $6 million, sharply increase the number of scholarships the school is able to give out.[4]


  • Lawrence S. Brumidi – (1888)
  • Elmer Boyd Smith – (unknown)
  • J. Franklin Steacy – (unknown)
  • Alfred Houghton Clark – (unknown)
  • Howard Huselton – (1893–1910)
  • Thomas Tyron –
  • Virgil Barker –
  • H.M. Kurtzworth –
  • Robert A. Holland – (1924–1927)
  • Rossiter Howard – (1932–1940)
  • Keith Martin – (1941–1943)
  • Wallace W. Rosenbauser –
  • Dr. J. B. Smith – (1950–1954)
  • David L. Stout – (1955–1958)
  • Richard H. Burnell – (1959)
  • Andrew W. Morgan – (1960–1969)
  • John W. Lottes – (1970–1982)
  • Richard W. Dodderidge – interim president (1983–1985)
  • George Parrino – (1985–1987)
  • Beatrice Rivas Sanchez – (1987–1995)
  • Ronald Cattelino – interim president (1995-1996)
  • Kathleen Collins – (1996-2011)
  • Jacqueline Chanda – (2011–2014)
  • Steve Metzler – interim president
  • Tony Jones – (2015–2022)
  • Ruki Neuhold-Ravikumar – (2022–2023)

Notable faculty[edit]

Notable lecturers[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Diaz-Camacho, Vicky (December 1, 2017). "Largest Kansas City-Area Colleges and Universities". Kansas City Business Journal.
  2. ^ Under the Influence: The Students of Thomas Hart Benton. Marianne Berardi. The Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art. 1993.
  3. ^ "Benton Hates Museums". Time. April 14, 1941. Archived from the original on February 5, 2008. Retrieved July 29, 2007.
  4. ^ Randy Kennedy (August 18, 2015), Kansas City Art Institute Receives $25 Million Donation New York Times.

External links[edit]

39°02′47″N 94°34′59″W / 39.046253°N 94.58308°W / 39.046253; -94.58308