Kansas City Art Institute

Kansas City Art Institute

The Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) is a private, independent, four-year college of fine arts and design founded in 1885 that has taught many creative students including animator Walt Disney, designer Marisol Deluna and painter Robert Rauschenberg in Kansas City, Missouri.

Ranked among the nation's top 10 art schools by U.S. News and World Report, KCAI is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) and the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

KCAI comprises nearly 600 students (representing more than 45 states and several foreign countries) and approximately 75 faculty.

Students pursue the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, in which a comprehensive liberal arts program is complemented by emphasis in one of the following studio majors: Animation, Ceramics, Design, Fiber, Painting, Photo & New Media, Printmaking, Interdisciplinary Arts , and Sculpture. Majors in Art History as well as Studio Art with an Emphasis in Creative Writing are also available.


The school started 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 convert|8|acre|m2|sing=on estate at 44th and Warwick Boulevard adjacent to the about to be built 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 (61,000 m²).

In 1935, Thomas Hart Benton left New York City for a teaching job at the school. Among the dozens of other artists Benton impacted as a teacher at KCAI were Frederic James, Robert MacDonald Graham, William Wind McKim, Margot Peet, Duard Marshall, Jackson Lee Nesbitt, Roger Medearis, Aaron Pyle, Glenn Gant, and Delmer J. Yoakum. [ Under the Influence: The Students of Thomas Hart Benton. Marianne Berardi. The Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art. 1993.] Though Benton brought a great deal of attention to the Art Institute, he was dismissed from the faculty in 1941 after making disparaging references to, as he claimed, the excessive influence of homosexuals in the art world. [ cite news | date=1941-04-14 | publisher=Time | title=Benton Hates Museums | url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,932248,00.html | accessdate=2007-07-29]

In 1992 the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art opened on the west side of the campus.

Notable names associated with school

* Martin Arnold - filmaker
* Thomas Hart Benton - leader of Regionalist art movement; KCAI teacher, 1935-1941
* Robert Berdella - serial killer, attended briefly
* Dan Christensen - abstract painter
* Richard Corben - comic book artist
* [http://www.treatzone.com/ Matthew Davis] - [http://www.treatzone.com/ Treatzone] founder, actor
* Marisol Deluna - New York fashion designer and founder of Deluna By Design, Inc.
* John de Martelly - Regionalist printmaker, KCAI printmaking teacher
* Walt Disney - Mickey Mouse designer who attended as child
* Ellen Fullman - inventor of long string instrument
* Glenn Gant - Regionalist painter, student of Benton, KCAI teacher
* Jon Gnagy - author of "New Television Art Instruction Book"
* Angela Dufresne - painter
* April Greiman - page layout designer
* Christian Holstad - conceptual artist
* Dennis Hopper - actor, attended Saturday classes during high school
* Frederic James - watercolor painter, KCAI teacher
* Arthur Kraft - sculptor and painter
* Ronnie Landfield - abstract painter
* [http://www.ramblinworker.com/ Steve MacDonald] - fiber artist
* Roger Medearis - Regionalist painter, student of Benton
* Robert Morris - sculptor, performance and installation artist
* Jackson Lee Nesbitt - Artist known for his regionalist etchings and lithographs, student of Benton
* William F. Nolan - prolific writer, original "Twilight Zone" co-author
* Victor Papanek - Campaigned against unsafe design
* Margot Peet - painter, student of Benton
* Sam Prekop - Chicago photographer, musician with The Sea and Cake
* Archer Prewitt - Chicago cartoonist, musician with The Sea and Cake and the Coctails
* Robert Rauschenberg - contemporary painter, forerunner of Pop Art, Grammy Award-winning album designer
* Mikel Rouse - Composer who developed Totalism (music)
* Akio Takamori - Ceramic artist
* Jeff Thornton - New York painter [http://jeffthorntonfineart.com/index.html website]
* Christopher Willits - Musician, Sound and Multimedia artist. Class of 2000.
* Delmer J. Yoakum - Artist, Disneyland and movie set painter


External links

* [http://www.kcai.edu/ Official site]
* [http://www.myartcollege.com/ Micro site]
* [http://www.careerbuilder.com/JobSeeker/Companies/CompanyDetails.aspx?Comp_DID=C23NF6KHVXVV6QP19R&cbRecursionCnt=1&cbsid=3ef348f2dfe94243abc495eb9f4337b4-208450653-R4-4 Career Builder profile]

Robert Morris

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