© 2018 St. Joseph Museums, Inc. 


Press Release


New Exhibit at the East Hills Mall

Opens Courtesy of the St. Joseph Museums, Inc.

Rudolf Friedrich Kurz:  A Visit to St. Joseph 1848-1851


July 2, 2019 – The St. Joseph Museums, Inc., has opened a free temporary exhibit on the travels and art of Rudolf Friedrich Kurz during his stay in St. Joseph, Missouri.  The exhibit is located at the East Hills Mall, 3702 Frederick Avenue, in St. Joseph where it will be open to the public until January.


Kurz was a Swiss artist who traveled to St. Joseph in 1848.  He remained in the area during the major Gold Rush years until 1851.  During that time Kurz documented the native peoples and early founders of St.  Joseph including the city founder, Joseph Robidoux. 


“My chief task was to give from my own observation a sincere portrayal of the American Indian in his romantic mode of life.  The pictures are intended to be true to nature but chosen from the standpoint of the picturesque and depicted in an aesthetic manner,” wrote Kurz in his journal. 


Kurz’s journal and sketches provide a glimpse of what early St. Joseph – a rapidly-growing city on the edge of the west – was like.  The exhibit at the East Hills Mall features several hands-on interactives with sketches from Kurz’s journal and information gleaned from his journal entries. 


Edifice:  The Architecture of E. J. Eckel. The architect of the Wyeth-Tootle Mansion and the founder of the firm responsible for 75 percent of the buildings in St. Joseph.  The exhibit focuses on his life and the lasting impact of his accomplishments.


Intersections:  Of Time and Buildings. This exhibit is housed in three renovated rooms on the second floor.  The exhibit explores the intersections of history, art, architecture, and humanities as well as the past, present, and future of the City.  Museum professionals, preservationists, scholars, and local artists all worked together on this innovative project.   Intersections is a combination art exhibit, exploration of St. Joseph’s history, and imagining of the role of historic preservation in the City’s future.   The exhibit was created by the St. Joseph Museum in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Friends of St. Joseph.



Confluence: The Great Flood of 1993. An exhibit that chronicles flooding in the St. Joseph area, including the flood in 1952 that covered much of Lake Contrary Amusement Park.  The details on the causes and impacts of the 1993 Flood will be included as a cathartic remembrance of those trying months in the summer of 1993 when much of the Midwest was under water.  The name of the exhibit “Confluence” refers to the merging of rivers and flood waters, as well as the coming together of communities in the face of one of the costliest natural disasters in history. 



Fame and Politics: The Life of Ruth Warrick. As a television actress, Warrick, born in St. Joseph, will forever be synonymous with her soap opera character of Phoebe Tyler Wallingford, the wealthy, viper-tongued, manipulative, and often meddlesome Pine Valley grande dame who held court for 35 years. But she was more than that. The story of her career, philanthropy, and political activism are told in this new exhibit, which opened in 2016, on what would have been Ruth's 100th birthday.