Beginning on Friday, Sept. 2, from 7-10 p.m., The Todd Weiner Gallery in downtown Kansas City ( 115 W. 18th Street Kansas City, Mo., 64108) will host the exhibition opening for The Art of War with pieces curated from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College art collection at Fort Leavenworth. The exhibit will be on display through Saturday, Sept. 17.
“Art of War” will focus around celebrating a longstanding tradition in the school’s history of a gift exchange between countries. This custom is an integral part of military history and emblematic of international relations throughout the school’s history. Every year a contingent of international officers from around the world attend CGSC, and in the course of the traditional gift exchanges, the College has received some very unique and iconic gifts from artisans in the giving countries.
After reviewing the College’s collection of more than 3,800 gifts, the Todd Weiner Gallery chose a significant piece from each decade to showcase in the exhibition, including the first gift ever presented. In addition to the gifts given from each country, each class from CGSC presents the College with a gift of appreciation at graduation. “Call to Colors,” a painting commissioned as a class gift, will be included to show the full circle process of a year at CGSC. Wall didactics will be employed to give a better understanding of the context and importance of each of the pieces highlighted in the exhibition.
In the photo above is a “King’s Cap” given by Thailand to the College in gratitude for participation in the program. King’s Cap, like many pieces in the collection, features elements unique to each country. Emblazoned on the front of the cap is the emblem of Thailand highlighting a mythical creature that has been used as symbol of royalty for centuries. The Garuda is a mythological beast of Hindu and Buddhist tradition that came to symbolize the divine power and authority of the king. Each of the items in The Art of War exhibit is a reflection of the invaluable art objects in the collection representative of decades of international relations.
The idea for the The Art of War exhibit was developed by Kansas City artist and art historian, Todd Weiner, when he and his team visited CGSC on March 2 as part of the CGSC Foundation’s outreach programs. (See the short article here.)
For more information visit www.toddweinergallery.com.