52 for 150: What’s So Special About Merrell Gage?

Happy Independence Day, America!

For week 27 of our Kansas sesquicentennial video series we’re taking a closer look at Topeka native and renowned artist, Merrell Gage (1892-1981), “an alumni of the most sophisticated art schools, who turned for subject matter to the basics of American history, the stories of the western struggle, and the lives of heroes of the American soul. Gage portrayed and interpreted the freedom and dignity of the American experience through the medium of his art.” [1]

Watch Gage’s film, Face of Lincoln (1954), where he carves the former President’s face from clay, changing it gradually to reflect age and eventually turning it around to reflect his assassination. It won an Academy Award.


About 52 for 150

Every object has a story, and stories build history. To celebrate 150 years of Kansas statehood we’re featuring 52 objects (or collections of related objects)—something new each week throughout the year—from the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library’s 130-year-old special, and permanent collections, that represent our collective state history and cultural diversity.

Our collections are available for teachers, students, researchers and general interest, and we hope this online video program will provide insight into what’s so “special” about Special Collections. Your library’s commitment to collecting art and preserving local history makes it possible for users today and in the future to have immediate access to invaluable research material and cultural artifacts.

To make an appointment to see work by Merrell Gage, or get help finding books and videos related to him and his work, call or stop by the Sabatini Gallery (785-580-4515). We’re located on your right just beyond the Library rotunda entrance.

[1] http://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/robert-merrell-gage/12061


Heather Kearns

I've been the Sabatini Gallery's associate curator since 2004 and social media coordinator since 2008. My passion is helping people “get“ art, and by that I mean creating an environment both in-house and online which fosters a greater understanding, confidence, and sense of enjoyment from the art experience. Art should be easy to access and available to everyone. I take helping people very seriously.