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Liberty Memorial gate artwork receives national award

The Public Art Network of the Americans for the Arts on June 3 selected the gates at the Liberty Memorial as one of the top 40 public artworks of 2006.

The ornamental gates, which are called "Pro Patria Mori," are located at the south lawn entrance of the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial. This public art project was funded by the City of Kansas City, Mo., One Percent for Art Program, and administered by the City's Municipal Art Commission and Parks and Recreation Department.

The Americans for the Arts annual awards recognize the most exemplary public art projects completed in the United States and are presented at the organization's annual conference. The Public Art Network develops professional services for the broad array of individuals and organizations engaged in the expanding field of public art.

"Pro Patria Mori" features an intricate glass mosaic that was designed by Ellen Driscoll and produced by Franz Mayer of Munich Inc. The mosaic design creates two separate 86-foot panoramas and illustrates imagery inspired by the museum's war-era collection. The gates' steel frame, fabricated by Kansas City-based A. Zahner Co., features a laser-cut panel into which hundreds of holes were created to reveal an image of World War I soldiers walking off the battlefield.

Driscoll is a professor of sculpture at Rhode Island School of Design. Her work is included in major public and private collections, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of Art.

The One Percent for Art Program was initiated by an ordinance passed by the City Council in 1986. The ordinance requires that any new building project or building renovation project undertaken by the City must have 1 percent of total design and estimated construction costs set aside for the commissioning of a work of art related to the project.

For more information about the One Percent for Art Program, visit

City News Releases - 2007

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