Heirs of historic KC artist donate five of his works to Nelson

The family of Kansas City artist and educator Leonard Pryor donates five of the late artist’s works to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.Pryor, who died in 2015 at age 91, was the first black student enrolled at the Kansas City Art Institute. “He was the first black student enrolled at the Kansas City Art Institute, he organized exhibitions of black artists and he was also the first black person to be named dean of students at KCAI,” said the CEO and directors of the Nelson Atkins. Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell said in a statement Thursday, “His contributions were truly groundbreaking, and we are deeply grateful to his children for reaching out to the museum regarding their desire to preserve their father’s legacy. “. offered by Reneé Pryor Newton and Craig Pryor North End (1950)Lonesome (1950)After the Bath (1949)Elsie Mountain (1950)Still Life with Pear (1958)The North End and Lonesome are currently on display at Gallery 219 in the suite of the gallery s dedicated to historic American art. The other paintings should be exhibited at a later date. “We are honored to share our father’s paintings in such a prestigious place. We hope these donations will continue his legacy of inspiring young artists for many years to come,” Pryors Children said in a joint statement. Pryor enrolled in KCAI after serving as a pharmacist in the US Navy during World War II. He graduated in 1951 as class president. The painter taught art and photography at Lincoln High School for 17 years. During the 1960s, Pryor was hired as a KCAI faculty member and became the first black man to serve as KCAI’s Academic Dean. Pryor continued to paint in the last decades of his life. He had his first personal exhibition in 1999 at the age of 75. KCAI established the Leonard Pryor Endowment in 2007, a scholarship to help minority students with tuition and supply costs. The Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City is free and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, and closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

The family of Kansas City artist and educator Leonard Pryor donates five of the late artist’s works to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Pryor, who died in 2015 at age 91, was the first black student enrolled at the Kansas City Art Institute.

“He was the first black student enrolled at the Kansas City Art Institute, he organized exhibitions of black artists and he was also the first black person to be named dean of students at KCAI,” said the CEO and directors of the Nelson-Atkins Julian Zugazagoitia. , Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell said in a statement Thursday, “His contributions were truly groundbreaking, and we are deeply grateful to his children for reaching out to the museum regarding their desire to preserve their father’s legacy.”

The five paintings donated by Reneé Pryor Newton and Craig Pryor

  • North End (1950)
  • Lonely (1950)
  • After the Bath (1949)
  • Elsie’s Mountain (1950)
  • Still life with pear (1958)

The North End and Lonesome are currently on display in Gallery 219 in the suite of galleries dedicated to historic American art.

The Nelson Atkin Museum of Art

Solitaire (1950) Artwork by Leonard Pryor

The other paintings are scheduled to be exhibited at a later date.

“We are honored to share our father’s paintings in such a prestigious place. We hope these donations will continue his legacy of inspiring young artists for many years to come,” Pryors Children said in a joint statement.

Pryor enrolled in KCAI after serving as a pharmacist in the US Navy during World War II. He graduated in 1951 as class president.

nelson receives leonard pryor family art

The Nelson Atkin Museum of Art

The North End (1950) Artwork by Leonard Pryor

The painter taught art and photography at Lincoln High School for 17 years. During the 1960s, Pryor was hired as a KCAI faculty member and became the first black man to serve as KCAI’s Academic Dean.

Pryor continued to paint in the last decades of his life. He had his first personal exhibition in 1999 at the age of 75.

KCAI established the Leonard Pryor Endowment in 2007, a scholarship to help minority students pay for tuition and supplies.

The Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City is free and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, and closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

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