"Kansas' Most Famous Art" Top 5 Page for this destination Kansas Things to Do Tip by basstbn

Kansas Things to Do: 76 reviews and 135 photos


There is undoubtedly no painting in the state of Kansas that has been reproduced in as many places as this John Stuart Curry mural on the east wing of the second floor of the State Capitol Building in Topeka. The wild-eyed fury of militant abolitionist, John Brown, dominates the bloody civil war battle scene. A fast-moving prairie fire in the background may well symbolise the blazing conflict in which the free-state Kansas were engaged with pro-slavery forces from Missouri.

Those who are familiar with state history refer to "a Bible in each of John Brown's hands" in this painting. There's a story to that. In order for sympathetic easterners to ship rifles to the anti-slavery Kansas Territory settlers (and past the treacherous "bushwackers" of Missouri, they found it necessary to pack these rifles in boxes marked "Bibles" addressed to the "Beecher Bible Church." These rifles became known as "Beecher Bibles."

Directions: Second floor, east wing of the State Capitol Building, Topeka

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 26, 2006
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