John & Maxine Belger Family Foundation
Belger Arts Center
Press Release
Belger Arts Center
William T. Wiley
Nomad Is an Island, 1981
Mixed media installation
108 in. x 216 in. x 240 in.

Belger Arts Center
Renee Stout
The Scream at 42, 2001
Acrylic and oil on board
36 in. x 36 in. .

Belger Arts Center
Robert Stackhouse
Recollecting Angel, 1972-96
Painted wood and wood lath
113 1/2 in. x 32 1/2 in. x 54 1/2 in.

Belger Arts Center
Photo - "Raytown Historical Society
group vists the Belger"
Painting by William T. Wiley
Painting Titled - "Or We Could..."

Click images for detailed view.


Celebrating 10 years "Beneath The Surface - Excavating the Belger Collection"
For immediate release – February 22, 2010

KANSAS CITY, MO – In celebration of the Belger Arts Center's tenth anniversary, we are pleased to present an exhibition that brings attention to the Belger's collecting vision - sometimes referred to in-house as "Cultural Anthropology and the Unit Theory". It is widely publicized that the Belger's permanent collection includes a large number of works across a span of time from seven artists: Terry Allen, William Christenberry, Jasper Johns, Robert Stackhouse, Renee Stout, William T. Wiley and Terry Winters.  A loan program extends the educational reach to arts institutions nationwide. What is less widely understood is the breadth of the collection outside of these seven artists and the vision for building it as we move forward.

"Cultural Anthropology" refers to the study of contemporary culture over time and its markers as reflected in decorative and fine arts. "The Unit Theory" is a nod to Duncan Phillips, founder of the internationally renowned museum, The Phillips Collection, in Washington, D.C.  Duncan Phillips collected artists in "units" of works over time, reflecting the span of an artist's career or the development of specific ideas. As in the Belger's collection, he developed units for emerging and student artists as well. Additionally, he believed it was important to install the units near one another in the same galleries, to invite visual dialogue and gain additional insights.

Dick Belger continues to collect work from artists of merit, both emerging and mid-career. He is interested in following their artistic development and understanding new directions, as well as their return to previous ideas or imagery. He believes in art as a metaphor for the artist's life and a reflection of the cultural influences at a particular moment. In acquiring a piece, his intent is to follow that artist's work over time.

This exhibition features work from ten artists in the collection as an illustration of the unit concept - the seven artists mentioned above, as well as Viola Frey, Ed Ruscha and Creighton Michael. Recent work, as well as older work, hint at the breadth of the overall collection - from large conceptual installations bursting with social commentary, to intensely personal narratives, to tightly conceived, technique-driven explorations of esoteric concepts. The placement of one artist's work next to another's creates an opportunity for visual dialogue and understanding of the work within a new context. Within the limitations of space, each artist is able to tell a story, and each story becomes richer in the company of those around it.

A special thanks to Terry Allen for rearranging his schedule, without much notice, to supervise the installation of Tables and Angels. Recreating this piece was a logistical feat and would have been a lot to do by itself. The Belger crew also completely redesigned the galleries, built new display cases, and installed a complicated sculpture which included a 1,000 lb. piece of steel. Much thanks to Alan Sells, Jason Puhr, Bill Leiber, Eddie Roberts, Jesse McAfee and intern Ryan Fletcher. As always, much thanks to Dick Belger, Alison Miller and Mo Dickens. Our tenth anniversary exhibition is exceptional because of your efforts!

- Evelyn Craft, Executive Director, Belger Arts Center

This exhibition contains artwork which deals with mature subject matter.


Belger Arts Center Statement.

The Belger Arts Center is located at 2100 Walnut Street (one block east of Main) in the Belger Cartage Service building. The gallery is open Wednesday through Friday from 10 am – 4 pm, Saturday from noon – 4 pm, non-holiday First Fridays from 10 am – 9 pm, and by appointment.

The office for the Belger Arts Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 am – 4:30 pm. For more information please visit or contact Gallery Assistant Mo Dickens at (816) 474-3250 or Email at

Since March of 2000 the Belger Arts Center has hosted more than 35 exhibitions featuring a variety of media including fiber, ceramics, painting, sculpture, digital projections, and innovative design. More than 50,000 visitors have attended exhibits and other events at the Belger Arts Center.


  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.