John & Maxine Belger Family Foundation

Belger Arts Center


It is rare for large bodies of an artist’s work to be acquired and held together in one place to provide the opportunity for scholars, teachers, students and the interested public to study the actual works of art in depth. The artists generally make their work available for sale in order to support themselves financially. Consequently, over time, the work is disbursed throughout the world. The majority of museums have only one or two examples of any given artist’s work in their collections for reference. In order for an institution to make an exhibition of the full range of any artist’s work, it must rely on the willingness of the various owners to lend their works of art. The time and cost for shipping, crating, insurance and visual documentation are exorbitant. Only the largest and most heavily endowed museums have the staff and the funding to make an exhibition of this type possible. These loans are also made increasingly more difficult due to the risk of damage and time constraints. Exhibitions are only allowed to travel to two or three venues before their contents are disbursed back to their owners.

The John and Maxine Belger Family Foundation was created to help address this problem by focusing on the works of relatively few specific artists, and collecting and documenting their work in depth throughout their careers. To date, the principal focus has been placed on the painting, sculpture, drawings, watercolors, photographs and prints of Robert Stackhouse, William Christenberry and William T. Wiley, as well as lesser, but significant holdings of Jasper Johns and Terry Winters. The Foundation will continue to expand the scope of its collection to include extensive bodies of work by women, ethnic and naïve artists working in a variety of media including ceramics, fiber and film in addition to those already represented.

By covering many of the expenses, and preparing and maintaining the necessary scholarly archives, the Foundation can enable a larger number of institutions throughout the country (large and small, urban and rural) to host major exhibitions for the public, students and scholars of their regions which they would not be able to afford without assistance. These conditions also allow exhibitions to be displayed for longer periods of time. It is the Foundation’s intention to conserve these bodies of work for future generations. When they are not traveling, the works of art can be viewed and studied at the institution’s headquarters in Kansas City.

Due to the extensive scope of this collection, curators are invited to visit the Belger Foundation and select works for their own exhibition.


  The Belger Arts Center - 2100 Walnut, 3rd Floor - Kansas City, MO 64108 - Office: (816) 474-3250  
  The Belger Arts Center is located on the 1st & 3rd floors at 2100 Walnut St. Kansas City, MO in the Crossroads Arts District.
Open Wed-Thur-Fridays 10am-4pm & Saturdays Noon-4pm or by appointment. Open "First Fridays" of each month until 9pm.
Exhibition is always free and open to the public. Please call to schedule tours for groups 10 or more.

 © 2004-2009 Belger Foundation : Website donated Nathan Sharfi 2004. Updated by: Staff 2005,06, Vetter 2007, Sharfi 2004-05,08,09.