The World of Art - By Joseph Smith
Jun 30

The World of Art - By Joseph Smith

The World of Art – By Joseph Smith


Joseph Smith is an acclaimed visual artist born in Kansas City, Kansas.  He holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Central Missouri, in addition to a Bachelor of Arts and an Associate’s Degree which he earned from the University of Missouri –Kansas City and Penn Valley Community College respectively.

Over the years, Mr. Smith worked several types of jobs, most notably for the Kansas City Missouri Fire Department and Kansas City Area Transportation Authority as a Bus Operator.

His paintings and pottery creations reflect how he (Jo Smith) engages with the world around him. In this exhibit, Mr. Smith showcases themes of art that are historical in nature but have relevance in the modern world. The artwork on display highlights Kansas City monuments, the Civil Rights era, Jazz Greats, African American women in church hats, “Still Life”, and African paintings. With over 50 pieces of pottery and paintings on display, Mr. Smith’s artwork is bound to inspire all of us to see what is possible and not what limits us.





African-American Inventors
Mar 11

African-American Inventors

This exhibit showcases the contributions of Black women and men in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Come and experience the genius of these inventors and innovators through more than 100 viewable inventions, reproductions, and representative samples for ancient African Cultures and modern culture.

Additionally, "Making a Difference: African-Americans Leading by Example" will be on display in the lower gallery.  

The work of local artist, Pierre Owens, will be on display in the children's gallery.

This exhibit is free and open to the public.

The Echoes of Slavery and Segregation Exhibit
Oct 29

The Echoes of Slavery and Segregation Exhibit

The Echoes of Slavery and Segregation Exhibit is a collection of rare photos, portrait pictures and documents from three exhibits that highlight the history of slavery and segregation at the national, state and local level.  

The three exhibits on display include the Famous Lewis and Clark Expedition featuring a slave named York,  Slavery's Echoes in Missouri and the Whitley Sisters in Kansas City exhibit.

A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Exhibit
Apr 8

A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Exhibit

The Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center and Museum is proud to present this traveling exhibit. The exhibit chronicles the historic contributions of A. Philip Randolph and the Pullman Porters. The story of these great men and what they stood for is often told within the context of American railroad history, yet the real impact of their lives and mission far exceeds the railroad industry. This exhibit touches on the many stories of African-American participation in U.S. railroad history. Appropriately then, this collection begins with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and highlights important events in the following 100 years to the 1963 March on Washington.

About the Exhibit

This collection was assembled to document specific social events, important concepts, and historical moments in the history of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) union and A. Philip Randolph's leadership. Each exhibit panel tells a part of the story of this unique history. The images are grouped chronologically and are representative of each period. We welcome all to experience this historical exhibit in memory of this important part of African-American history.

This historical exhibit is the property of the National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum.

The Historic Registry of African American Railroad Employees is available at the Museum's physical location and it is available on line at

Click on EVENTS to see documentary information "Rising From the Rails" viewing dates and times three Fridays in March.




Kansas City:  Mecca of the New Negro
Aug 31

Kansas City: Mecca of the New Negro

The exhibition is based on Mr. Sonny Gibson's popular book on the achievements of                African-Americans in Kansas City from the early 1900s through the 1940s.

This exclusive exhibition will display rare photographs, artifacts, and information about a people with great pride and progress.