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George Kren was born in Linz, Austria and was a professor of European intellectual history at Kansas State University. A dedicated photographer, he enjoyed photographing his friends and colleagues. Artist Margo Kren, George's wife, first noticed George's interest in capturing artists and other art professionals in 1973 when he wanted to catch Alexandr Glickman on film. Glickman was the father-in-law of Jake Kipp,George's colleague in the History Department, and Kipp had brought Glickman, a former curator at the Hermitage Museum in Russia, to meet George. And George wanted to photograph Alexandr outside, using no artificial lights, which enabled George to keep the session informal and comfortable for the subject.

As a professor in the Department of Art at Kansas State University, Margo chaired the departmental Visitors Program from 1984 through 1995. During that time, she brought to campus each semester regionally or nationally known figures in the arts. In addition, she traveled widely in Kansas and surrounding states and served as President of the Kansas City Artists Coalition in 1982 - 1983. These responsibilities took her to meetings and various art activities, and George accompanied her. Margo set up in advance appointments for photo sessions in an artist's studio, in an art historian's office, or at an art dealer's gallery. Sometimes George and Margo would just grab a quick shot of their subjects on the street.

Many years later, Margo realized how much these photographs carry the history and weight of a special formative period of the arts in Kansas City, in the state of Kansas, and in the states beyond. The images foretell the significance of what evolved over the next forty years into a vital and active regional life for the arts. She put together this book of photographic portraits and wrote notes about each person pictured in order to preserve and document this extraordinary time.

An added note -- all or most of the photographs appeared at the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art in the 2011 Exhibition Makers Framed.



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See also the video introduction with Linda Duke and Sarah Price at


New Prairie Press




photographs, photographers, artists, Kansas, Kansas City, Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art


Arts and Humanities | History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology | Other Arts and Humanities | Other History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology | Photography

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

A Gathering in the Arts: Midwesteners Photographed by George M. Kren