The Magnificent Collection of Gilbert G. Hargrove

November 23, 2012—March 24, 2013
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Untitled Document

Location: Nelson-Atkins Building, Gallery P10

Admission is free.

This installation showcases the collection of Gilbert G. Hargrove and the Hargrove family. Gilbert was born in the sleepy town of Pike Pepper, Ohio in 1870. From an early age, Gilbert was an avid reader, spending hours at the local library pouring over books on history, geography, anthropology and art.

At the age of 16, he left home in search of adventure. His travels led him to Kansas City where he landed a job writing obituaries for The Kansas City Times. Suffering from a chronic case of wanderlust, he soon grew restless and headed west. He traveled as far as San Francisco, fell in love and married the daughter of a Chinese railroad worker. Several months later, the newlyweds moved to Shanghai, getting caught in the Boxer Rebellion. He continued his travels becoming a renowned explorer and adventurer.

Eventually, Hargrove returned to Kansas City where one afternoon a mysterious, bespectacled gentleman appeared on his doorstep, informing him of his family's long-lost collection of art and antiquities dating back to the early 1800s. Soon thereafter, Gilbert met a tragic end when he was run over by a streetcar.
In this installation, we have re-created the den of the curious, nomadic Mr. Hargrove and showcased his own, as well as his ancestors' and descendants', eclectic collection.

Gilbert G. Hargrove, his story, and his family are fictional and any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental. The objects in this installation are taken from the collections of Scott Hefley and the Nelson-Atkins.

Photo by Bob Greenspan.

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