Walking and standing at field trip sites; some uneven ground.
We’ll travel to the home and studio of Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975), one of America’s most popular artists for several decades before World War II. At the age of 18, he enrolled in the Art Institute of Chicago, then went to Paris where he met and admired the great Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. He returned to America and served at the Norfolk Naval Base during World War I, where he was influenced by the Navy’s requirement for artistic realism. His family’s roots in Missouri gave him an intense appreciation of life and culture in the Midwest. Benton’s great murals made him a champion of the artistic movement known as Regionalism. He was also an outspoken opponent of fascism, foreign and domestic. He is remembered foremost for his images of ordinary people and daily life. We’ll have an insider’s look at his home and studio, untouched since his death, and learn about his life, work, and influence on other American artists. Moving on to Independence, Missouri, we’ll reach the Harry S Truman National Historic Site, where a staff member will portray Truman — the last of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s four Vice Presidents, sworn in as President when FDR died on April 12, 1945. He was reelected in 1948 when pollsters expected him to lose. As President, he made the decision to drop the atomic bomb, oversaw the end of World War II , implemented the Marshall Plan and NATO, expanded Social Security, proposed national health insurance, supported civil rights, and recognized the State of Israel. He also waged an undeclared war in Korea. After retiring to private life, he was known as Mr. Citizen for his active life of writing, lecturing, and founding his library.
At a restaurant in Independence, we’ll have a pre-selected lunch with soft drinks and water included; other beverages available for purchase.
We’ll visit the spectacular Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts for a field trip led by a member of the staff. We’ll explore the city’s dramatic, eye-catching arts center designed by Moshe Safdie that opened in 2011. The Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Symphony, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City are resident companies that perform in the 1,800-seat Muriel Kauffman Theatre and 1,600-seat Helzberg Hall. We’ll marvel at the beauty of the building and learn how the performance halls were designed to enhance the acoustic and visual experience.
At a popular Kansas City restaurant and jazz club with live music, we’ll have our farewell dinner and enjoy the performance on stage. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.
At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure following our final session in the morning.