I had just finished making my way slowly more or less chronologically through the galleries of Roman, Greek, Egyptian, and medieval European art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City when I turned a corner into a tiny gallery that appeared to be an exact recreation of someone’s study. Judging by the evidence, the time was more or less a century ago and the occupant had clearly been a world traveler, an obsessive collector, and something of an eccentric. The clock in the corner was ticking and it appeared that someone had only moments before slid the chair back from the desk with its ancient typewriter and had walked out into the museum. The introductory panel told me I was looking at “The Magnificent Collection of Gilbert G. Hargrove.”
In his spare time, Heffley is also an insatiable collector of “things of beauty and curiosity.”
Roughly 50 works from Heffley’s collection are displayed as part of “The Magnificent Collection of Gilbert G. Hargrove,” a show of odd and wondrous things based on the story of a fictional 19th century adventurer, on view in gallery P10 through March 24.