Post Art Library

2020 Post Art Library Holiday Tea Take-Home Kits

In lieu of our annual in-person Holiday Tea event, we invite you to pick up a PAL Holiday Tea Take-Home Kit on Saturday, December 5, 2020 from 10am-12pm in our Post Reading Room inside Joplin Public Library. Coinciding with the distribution of the take-home kits is the opening of TEA, a display consisting of teacups, teapots, and tea-related items, in the library’s display cases. TEA will be on display from Saturday, December 5, 2020 through Sunday, January 3, 2021.

Each PAL Holiday Tea Take-Home Kit includes: 1 paper tea cup and saucer, 1 paper napkin, 1 paper doily, 1 individually wrapped stirrer, 2 individually wrapped bags of tea (one holiday, one black), 2 individually wrapped creamers, 2 individually wrapped sugar packets, individually wrapped candies, and a bookmark. One kit per person. First come, first served while supplies last. FREE and open to the public. Registration not necessary. Reservations not permitted.

Since 2016, we’ve hosted an annual Holiday Tea event inside the library. Held on the first Saturday each December, this event typically features a live musical or other performance: local Harpist Amanda Kimble, Father Christmas, and the Ellis Sisters with Historic Murphysburg, Inc. (2016); Still Waters String Ensemble (2017); a Heartland Opera Theatre collaboration (2018); and the Thomas Jefferson Cavalier Chorus and Thomas Jefferson String Ensemble (2019). Due to concerns regarding COVID-19 we are unable to program an in-person event for our 2020 Holiday Tea.

Post Art library is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit arts-related organization located inside Joplin Public Library. For more information, or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit PostArtLibrary.org or contact Jill Sullivan at 417.623.7953 x1041.

Joplin Historic Preservation Commission Awards 2020 Jeff & Carolina Neal Award to Corner Greer Architects

The Joplin Historic Preservation Commission (JHPC) awards the 2020 Jeff & Carolina Neal Award, an award that’s part of the Commission’s annual awards program, to Corner Greer Architects (CGA) of Joplin, Missouri.

The Jeff & Carolina Neal Award is for those who made significant developments to historic preservation in Joplin by way of developing and restoring/revitalizing buildings and property within Joplin’s commercial corridors.

CGA has been committed to improving and preserving the downtown commercial corridor for many years. The projects for which CGA is being recognized include: CGA and Craven Media at 714-716 Main, completed 2012; the Orpheum Building at 6th and Main, completed 2014; FTC at Memorial Education Center, 8th and Wall, completed 2019; and two ongoing projects at Midwestern Interactive and Joplin Empire Market.     

“Corner Greer’s efforts in developing and revitalizing buildings and property downtown since 2012 has made a tremendous impact on the amenities and visual appeal of Joplin buildings, workspaces, and public facing businesses. The quality put into materials and design is apparent to anyone who has seen their work, such as the Orpheum Building restoration at 6th and Main. Joplinites should be excited by Corner Greer’s ongoing work at Midwestern Interactive and the Empire Market,” said Dr. William Fischer, Chair of the Commission’s Policy, Procedure, & Promotion Subcommittee, which reviews nominations for the awards.

The goal of JHPC’s annual awards program (est. 2019) is to celebrate and recognize the extraordinary efforts of individuals and groups who made significant contributions to historic preservation in Joplin. The program is comprised of three awards, with public nominations opening each spring.

Due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19, JHPC has postponed the 2020 public awards presentation until next year’s awards presentation. For more information, please contact JHPC Chair, Jill Sullivan, at 417-623-7953 x1041 or jhsullivan@postartlibrary.org. 



Corner Greer Architects & Craven Media, 714-716 Main Street, Joplin, MO
Courtesy of Corner Greer Architects



Infuxn (Orpheum Building), 6th & Main Streets, Joplin, MO
Photo by 1281 Photography, Drew Kimble

Franklin Technology Center at Memorial Education Center, 8th & Wall, Joplin, MO
Photo by 1281 Photography, Drew Kimble

A Brief History of Fairview Cemetery

May is Preservation Month! As such, we’re sharing brief histories of Joplin, Missouri’s four city-owned cemeteries; this is part four of four in the series.

Fairview Cemetery was in use as Joplin Cemetery as early as 1832, prior to the incorporation of the City of Joplin. In September 1873, about six months after the city’s incorporation, Mayor E.R. Moffet, Joplin’s first mayor, drafted and signed a notarized document stating that the cemetery would henceforth be released to the public for public use, thus creating Joplin’s first municipal cemetery. It is not yet known when or why the name of the cemetery changed from Joplin Cemetery to Fairview Cemetery, but it’s evident that ‘Fairview’ was in common use by 1914 and likely earlier.

Some sources indicate the land for Fairview Cemetery was donated by Patrick Murphy, the founder of Murphysburg, which, in March 1873, incorporated with Joplin City (now known as Joplin’s East Town neighborhood) to become the City of Joplin.

For 60 years, it was Joplin’s only municipal cemetery. Fairview Cemetery is associated with numerous city-founders and other persons of note. Some of them include the Murphy, Picher, and Zelleken families; Percy Wenrich; Harry and Jennings Young; Joel Livingston; Jessie F. Osborne; John B. Sergeant; Gilbert Barbee; John Reding; Thomas Gilyard; and Thomas Bellas.

Veterans from the American Civil War, the Spanish-American War, both World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam are interred at Fairview. As are Masons, members of the Order of the Eastern Star, Oddfellows, Shriners, and Woodsman. Fairview also contains a Potter’s Field.

In 2018-19, a subcommittee of the Joplin Historic Preservation Commission conducted an architectural survey of all four of Joplin’s city-owned cemeteries. Also, they researched and wrote nominations for the cemeteries to be included on the city’s Local Landmark/Historic Sites list. Although the nominations were submitted in summer 2019, the commission awaits a fresh survey of one of the cemetery sites before the nominations can move to the next phase of the Local Landmark nomination process. Click HERE to view the nomination in its entirety, including supporting documentation.

Volunteer Fire Department section in Joplin’s Fairview Cemetery. Photo: Paula Callihan

Contributed by Jill Sullivan, Post Art Library Director, Joplin Historic Preservation Commission Chairperson, and Missouri Preservation Board Member

A Brief History of Forest Park Cemetery

May is Preservation Month! As such, we’re sharing brief histories of Joplin, Missouri’s four city-owned cemeteries; this is part three of four in the series.

Forest Park Cemetery is unique among Joplin’s municipal cemeteries in that it has a long history of changed ownership and is the most recently acquired city cemetery. Jeremiah Turk, an early citizen of what would become Joplin, donated land to Shoal Creek Baptist Church (No. 1) to establish a church and develop a cemetery. The church had recently split into two factions (No.1 and No.2), with the Joplin faction acquiring the land at Central Street and Range Line Road in 1884. Jeremiah Turk himself laid out Forest Park cemetery in 1888. Prior to that time, the church cemetery was referred to as Old Baptist Cemetery, Turk Cemetery, or, as in one newspaper account, Kirk Cemetery.

About 1913, another early citizen, T.C. Clary, laid out cemetery tracts alongside the Forest Park tract. Unfortunately, Clary made a bad deal with some “promotors” from Chicago in 1917 and, after going to court, his cemetery tract was put into foreclosure and purchased by the Forest Park Cemetery Association to become one Forest Park Cemetery.

Due to rapid growth, the Forest Park congregation moved to another location in 1948. Since that time, Forest Park Cemetery has changed ownership over the years, with the City of Joplin acquiring it in 1988.

In 2018-19, a subcommittee of the Joplin Historic Preservation Commission conducted an architectural survey of all four of Joplin’s city-owned cemeteries. Also, they researched and wrote nominations for the cemeteries to be included on the city’s Local Landmark/Historic Sites list. Although the nominations were submitted in summer 2019, the commission awaits a fresh survey of one of the cemetery sites before the nominations can move to the next phase of the Local Landmark nomination process. Click HERE to view the nomination in its entirety, including supporting documentation.

Mausoleum in Joplin’s Forest Park Cemetery. Photo: Paula Callihan

Contributed by Jill Sullivan, Post Art Library Director, Joplin Historic Preservation Commission Chairperson, and Missouri Preservation Board Member

A Brief History of Osborne Cemetery

May is Preservation Month! As such, we’re sharing brief histories of Joplin, Missouri’s four city-owned cemeteries; this is part two of four in the series.

Contrary to popular belief, the Jesse F. Osborne Memorial Cemetery, henceforth referred to simply as Osborne Cemetery, was not open to the public any earlier than 1938. Osborne Cemetery became the City of Joplin’s third public, city-owned cemetery, with Fairview Cemetery being its first (1873) and Parkway Cemetery being its second (1933).

In 1931, Joe H. Myers, then Commissioner of Public Property and Public Utilities, realized that Fairview Cemetery would soon be full and considered plans for establishing a new cemetery on the new cemetery tract that ran along the east and west sides of McClelland park road. This cemetery tract eventually became two cemeteries—Parkway (east) and Osborne (west). Although this tract of land is commonly thought to have been donated to the city by the Osborne family, it was, in fact, purchased by the city during one of former Mayor Jesse F. Osborne’s administrations, around 1922.

In the early 1930s, the city began developing the McClelland park road cemetery tracts, with Parkway Cemetery opening in 1933. Although preparations were being made as early as 1935 to open Osborne Cemetery, it wasn’t until 1937 that Council began seeking a name for the new cemetery. In 1938, Council announced that the new city cemetery was named the Jesse F. Osborne Memorial Cemetery in his honor because “the tract of land converted into the cemetery was purchased by the city while Osborne was mayor and he promoted the project.” They announced, too, that the newly-named, city-owned Osborne Cemetery was now, finally, open for public use.

In early 1939, soldiers’ plots were dedicated for the American Legion, the United Spanish War Veterans, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. By mid-1939, the WPA (formerly FERA) was still working on the cemetery’s stone wall and entrance. In 1940, The Robert S. Thurman American Legion Post and George Klingman donated a 75-foot flagpole to be placed in the cemetery.

Osborne Cemetery has an extensive military section, with veterans of varying ranks who served in World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Additionally, members of the Masons, Oddfellows, the Order of the Eastern Star, Shriners, and Woodsman are interred at Osborne. Uniquely, Osborne has a “Babyland” monument.

Interestingly, Osborne Cemetery records list the earliest burials in 1852, 1854, 1857, 1875, and 1877, prior to the time the tract was developed as a cemetery. All other burials in the cemetery, however, took place from 1938—the year which Osborne was, in fact, established as a city-owned cemetery—onward. It’s not uncommon for cemeteries to be developed in an area where older burials took place, which could explain the existence of gravesites dated prior to the time Osborne was developed.  

In 2018-19, a subcommittee of the Joplin Historic Preservation Commission conducted an architectural survey of all four of Joplin’s city-owned cemeteries. Also, they researched and wrote nominations for the cemeteries to be included on the city’s Local Landmark/Historic Sites list. Although the nominations were submitted in summer 2019, the commission awaits a fresh survey of one of the cemetery sites before the nominations can move to the next phase of the Local Landmark nomination process. Click HERE to view the nomination in its entirety, including supporting documentation.

“BABYLAND” monument in Joplin’s Osborne Cemetery. Photo: Paula Callihan

Contributed by Jill Sullivan, Post Art Library Director, Joplin Historic Preservation Commission Chairperson, and Missouri Preservation Board Member

A Brief History of Parkway Cemetery

May is Preservation Month! As such, we’re sharing brief histories of Joplin, Missouri’s four city-owned cemeteries; this is part one of four in the series.

Prior to the establishment of Parkway Cemetery, Joplin’s citizens – black, white, and others – were buried in the only city-owned cemetery, Fairview Cemetery. In 1931, Joe H. Myers, then Commissioner of Public Property and Public Utilities, realized that Fairview Cemetery would soon be full and considered plans for establishing a new cemetery on the new cemetery tract that ran along the east and west sides of McClelland park road. This cemetery tract eventually became two cemeteries—Parkway (east) and Osborne (west). Although this tract of land is commonly thought to have been donated to the city by the Osborne family, it was, in fact, purchased by the city during one of former Mayor Jesse F. Osborne’s administrations, around 1922.

In May 1932, a committee of Joplin’s Colored Citizens’ Club requested that Commissioner Myers set aside a portion of the newly considered city cemetery exclusively for use by Joplin’s black citizens. Myers agreed and, in 1933, announced plans to develop the east side of the McClelland park road cemetery tract solely for use by Joplin’s black citizens. Also at that time, Myers let it be known that the black plot in Fairview Cemetery was full and the city was no longer able to accommodate the burial of black persons in that cemetery (though accommodations were still being made for white persons in a new addition).

In April 1933, work began to clear the east side of the McClelland park road cemetery tract for exclusive use by Joplin’s black community. Later that same year, in August, the city commission (i.e. Council) chose ‘Parkway Cemetery’ as the official name for the new all-black cemetery. It is not known why, exactly, the Council chose the name ‘Parkway’ for the new cemetery. While the east side of the McClelland park road tract was developed as an all-black cemetery, the tract on the west side was reserved for later development for use by white persons.

Although the city-owned Parkway Cemetery opened to Joplin’s black citizens in 1933, the earliest tombstone burial date reads 1932. According to the city’s cemetery records, Joseph Stover was initially interred at Fairview Cemetery in 1932, where he was then disinterred and reinterred at Parkway Cemetery upon Parkway’s opening, in 1933. Parkway Cemetery has been in use since 1933 and continues to be in use today.

In addition to serving as a burial ground for Joplin’s black citizens, Parkway Cemetery historically served as a gathering place for black families during a time when black people had very few choices for gathering spaces. According to local oral histories from those within Joplin’s black community, funerals and celebrations of life were all-day events. Family and friends traveled from afar and used the lawn to the south of the cemetery as camping and picnic grounds. Thus, Parkway Cemetery offered an integral space for fellowship among black people and African-Americans during unfortunate times of segregation in America.

Among those interred at Parkway are veterans from World Wars I and II, the Korean War, and Vietnam; former law enforcement officers; members of the Masons and the Order of the Eastern Star; and others who contributed significantly to the development of our community.

In 2018-19, a subcommittee of the Joplin Historic Preservation Commission conducted an architectural survey of all four of Joplin’s city-owned cemeteries. Also, they researched and wrote nominations for the cemeteries to be included on the city’s Local Landmark/Historic Sites list. Although the nominations were submitted in summer 2019, the commission awaits a fresh survey of one of the cemetery sites before the nominations can move to the next phase of the Local Landmark nomination process. Click HERE to view the nomination in its entirety, including supporting documentation.

Mr. and Mrs. Cuther are thought to be the first persons to purchase a burial plot in Joplin’s Parkway Cemetery. Photo: Jill Sullivan
The bridge leading to one of the picnic tables in Joplin’s Parkway Cemetery. Photo: Jill Sullivan

Contributed by Jill Sullivan, Post Art Library Director, Joplin Historic Preservation Commission Chairperson, and Missouri Preservation Board Member

Digital Release: Women Who Made Their Mark

Although the release party was cancelled because of COVID-19 closures, we and our partners are excited to announce the digital release of Coloring JOMO: Women Who Made Their Mark.

Women Who Made Their Mark is a fun, FREE coloring book featuring twelve women who made significant contributions to our community, including:

  • Henrietta Cosgrove
  • Emily Newell Blair
  • Melissa Fuell Cuther
  • Ferne Wilder
  • Dorothea B. Hoover
  • Elizabeth C. Post
  • Pauline Starke
  • Lena Beal
  • Olivia Bendelari
  • Evelyn Milligan Jones
  • Mary Curtis Warten
  • and Ernestine Carr.

This project is a collaboration between Post Art Library, Historic Murphysburg Prservation, Inc. and Visit Joplin. Illustrations by artist Martha Goldman.

For more information, or to download your FREE copy, visit us HERE.

Sculpture Works in Wood

“Sculpture Works in Wood,” a solo exhibition by local artist M. Justin Hale, is on display in our Bramlage and Willcoxon Foundation Gallery, our display cases, and in the Post Reading Room inside Joplin Public Library now through September 30, 2019.

Hale sees anatomical references whenever he carves. Most of his professional life has been spent working in prosthetics. Leaving the prosthetics field in 1999, he now devotes his life to his artwork.

His work is inspired by the bent and twisting forms found in remnants of trees from a long and well lived life. Finding and releasing the stored energy of the wood into a new life as sculpture is a great experience.

For more information, contact Jill Sullivan at 417-623-7953 x1041 or jhsullivan@postartlibrary.org.

Library exhibitions and displays are curated by Post Art Library. Their mission is to enrich the community of Joplin by perpetuating Dr. Winfred L. and Elizabeth C. Post’s love of art, architecture, history, and history preservation through public access to arts-related library resources and services, educational programming, events, and exhibits. Visit www.postartlibrary.org for more information.

Words with Hiram Mesa

Throughout November, the Post Art Library is showing Hiram Mesa’s The Magic Mirror, which is comprised of mixed-media artworks, screen prints, jewelry, and wonderfully cut cabochons. Earlier today, I had the opportunity to ask Hiram some questions about his art.

Jill’s questions/comments are in bold,
whereas Hiram’s are not.

You’re making a name for yourself cutting stones. Could you tell me about what drew you to pursue lapidary work?
I was traveling with some friends through Colorado and New Mexico and we stopped at a rock shop. I noticed a nice piece of turquoise jewelry on display and I thought maybe I could do something like that. So I bought a rough, unfinished stone and I started buying Rock & Gem magazine and set about teaching myself lapidary work. Eventually I joined a gem and mineral club in Joplin and started borrowing some of their equipment and cutting stones. That was about 12 years ago.

Although you do buy some stones, you prefer digging for them. Where have you dug for stones?
Colorado, mostly. I’ve been to Canada, some places in Arkansas, and New Mexico.

What’s it like to dig for stones?
It’s the most amazing thing EVER!!! When you pull something out of the ground and it’s been there forever and no one has ever seen it and the light is shining on it—it’s very, very cool… I’d rather be digging for stones than doing just about anything else.

But tell me about the process. What types of tools do you use?
It’s actually a lot of work. It’s funny, I work harder on my vacations than when I’m working. I use shovels, pry bars, picks, chisels, brushes, things like that.

How do you know where to go?
This is a tricky question. I’ve read a lot of books and field guides so I have a pretty good understanding of how to read the geology. You have to know how to read the rock itself, the geology. There’s a host rock that most of the stones form in, so you have to know how to read the host rock and it will tell you where you need to be digging. But a lot of it is intuition and luck.

Some of your mixed-media art incorporates specular hematite. Could you tell me about specular hematite and why you like to use it?
Specular hematite forms in large masses. I take two of the stones and rub them together over a piece of paper and collect the flakes to use in my art. I love stones, so I feel the need to apply stones to my art. I like specular hematite because I like the way it feels.

You’ve mentioned that you’d rather be digging for stones than anything else. So how do you turn your attention away from that to your other art forms, such as metal work, jewelry fabrication, and mixed media?
The abstract images that I envision are more easily conveyed through paper and paint. Besides, I really enjoy painting.

What are some of your favorite mediums to use in your mixed-media pieces?
Markers, watercolors, fingernail polish, and acrylics.

Aside from the art that you make, what are some of your favorite forms of art and who are some of your favorite artists?
I like photography, poetry, music, watercolor, ceramics, and most all forms of art. In regards to my favorite artists, that’s tough. I like so many art forms and artists that if I answer this question I’ll just be thinking of the most famous and that’s not fair.

Thanks, Hiram, for answering questions about your art. Is there anything you’d like to add?
Thanks, Jill.

Left: “Seascape” by Hiram Mesa
Right: “Waterfalls from the Heavens” by Hiram Mesa

Historic Missouri Roadsides by Bill Hart

In his recent title Historic Missouri Roadsides, author Bill Hart takes readers on a journey of Missouri’s two-lane roads and highways. This wonderfully illustrated book is for both the figurative and literal traveler. In addition to beautiful photography, Hart offers facts about each destination, directions, and information about where to eat, stay, visit, and what to do, as well as a few travel tips. Perhaps unique to Hart’s adventure advice is that he does not manage your time, but encourages you “to take your time at every juncture of your trip” so that you may explore and enjoy Missouri’s heritage.  What’s more, all of his listings for food & drink, accommodations, and such are venues that are truly local to the area in which they are found.

The book proper is divided into six tours: Missouri Highway 79 / The River Road; El Camino Real; Route 100 / Gottfried Duden & the Lewis and Clark Trail; Osage Hills and Prairies; Mostly Route 24; and The Platte Purchase. Throughout each tour, Hart expertly covers historic, small-town Missouri. He engages with intriguing histories of towns traveled and captivates with photographic landscapes and streetscapes, ranging from beautiful buildings and homes in current use to structures that have either fallen into serious disrepair or stand vacant.

Although Joplin is not featured in this title, the Osage Hills and Prairies tour winds through Jasper County, beginning in Avilla and passing through Carthage and Jasper before moving on to nearby towns. Carthage’s Boots Motel, a decorative parapet made of “Carthage marble” that crowns a downtown building, and “A Victorian lady of a building” on Maple Street are among the sites photographed in Jasper County. Hart touches on the rich history of Carthage, including the infamous Belle Starr, the lawful Annie Baxter, the Civil War, and more.

Not only is Hart’s Historic Missouri Roadsides an entertainingly educational read for those interested in history and preservation, but its a fantastically fun resource for those who are interested in taking the drive through Missouri’s roadside heritage. To learn more about Missouri author Bill Hart or his recent publication, then visit his website or visit him during his book signing in the Post Art Library, 300 S Main St, Joplin, MO, on Saturday, September 19, 2015, from 4pm-6pm.

Carthage 13 Boots Edited

The photograph above shows the Boots Motel in Carthage, Missouri. It’s but one of numerous buildings depicted in Historic Missouri Roadsides. (Photograph courtesy of the author, Bill Hart.)

About the Author:
Bill Hart grew up in Perry County in southeast Missouri. His interest in small town and roadside Missouri was fostered by his work for the past several years with the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation (Missouri Preservation), where he currently serves as executive director. He holds a degree in Historic Preservation from Southeast Missouri State University and did his graduate coursework in Architectural History at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. Bill is particularly interested in vanishing Missouri building types, including roadside and countryside. He was one of the founders of the Missouri Barn Alliance and Rural Network (Mo BARN), advocating for documentation and preservation of Missouri’s historic farmsteads.