UMB Bank and Commerce Bank both have Kemper family connections and a long tradition of supporting the arts. But few know it was Charlotte Crosby Kemper who inspired generations of Kempers to celebrate the arts.
Charlotte Crosby Kemper married William T. Kemper Sr. in 1890 and moved to Kansas City. A daughter of a prominent family, she attended college at Vasser College School of Music and Painting, where she developed a life-long passion for the arts. Her sons James Kemper Sr. (Commerce Bank CEO) and Crosby Kemper (UMB Bank CEO) would continue their mother’s support of the arts. Today, generations later, Charlotte Crosby Kemper’s legacy continues through the work of both banking institutions.
More Than a Pretty Face features a selection of portraits from both corporate art collections, as well as tips for viewing portraiture. The shared goal of the dual exhibit is to announce and celebrate the arrival of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art’s exhibit The Outwin American Portraiture Today, on loan from the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, and to raise awareness of the rich genre of portraiture.
About the UMB Financial Corporation Collection
UMB Financial Corporation exhibits one of the most highly regarded collections of American art in the country. More than 1,200 paintings and sculpture are on display at UMB banking offices throughout Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Arizona. The collection was a personal mission of art patron R. Crosby Kemper, Jr. Mr. Kemper was respected world-wide for his personal, corporate and museum collections. J. Mariner Kemper, Chairman and CEO, has continued this amazing legacy of American Art, making several remarkable acquisitions that strengthen the collection not only in a significant visual way, but in a comprehensive way. Their dedication and keen insight have created a highly regarded collection, rich in spectrum, always on view.
About the Commerce Bancshares Fine Art Collection
Commerce Bank’s corporate art collection began in 1963 with William T. Kemper Jr. (1902-1989), who formed a committee of leading art professionals to guide the process. The Collection was formed to provide a stimulating environment for employees, customers, and the general community. In the 1980s, Laura Kemper Fields (1948-2014) served as the Director of the Collection, and during her 30-year tenure the collection grew, with additions reflecting both high-quality and broadening scope. Today, more than 1,400 works are exhibited throughout its banking offices in both public spaces and private offices across six states.