The Art Belonging to Kenwood School

Copyright 2005 by Cindy Lundine
All Rights Reserved.  Copyright Strictly Enforced.




The “Circus” painting was done by noted artist Edwin J. Bruns and was dedicated and hung above the kindergarten room’s fireplace on May 28, 1952, to honor Miss Henrietta Harken, longtime Kenwood School kindergarten teacher upon her retirement. A reception for Miss Harken was held at the school on the evening of May 28th. A large number of area residents, former students, education professionals, and families attended the event which was held in the gym and school’s community room. Iowa Court Judge Howard McLaughin, a former Kenwood School student and Kenwood parent, represented the Kenwood PTA in presenting the painting at the reception.

Regional artist, Edwin Bruns, admires, with retiring longtime Kenwood School kindergarten teacher, Henrietta Harken.

Regional artist, Edwin Bruns, admires, with retiring longtime Kenwood School kindergarten teacher, Henrietta Harken, his finished and framed oil painting entitled "Circus," shortly after it was hung above the kindergarten classroom's fireplace at Kenwood Elementary School during an evening ceremony in May of 1952, in honor of Miss Harken's educational career and service to the students and families of the Kenwood Park neighborhood. Miss Harken taught at Kenwood's bungalow school on 'C' Avenue and 35th Street N.E., as well as at the present Kenwood building. Mr. Bruns was a frequent and welcomed guest at Kenwood School, where he often assisted classroom teachers and the students with their art skills and creative projects.




The painting “Rural Scene” was done by local artist Edwin Bruns, and its purchase was underwritten by the Kenwood PTA as a memorial to be hung on the Kenwood School walls in honor of Miss Agnes Hendrie Robertson, who, at the time of her death in September of 1946, was a teacher at Kenwood School. Contributions to assist in the purchase were invited during the week of April 29 to May 6th, 1947, from families in the Kenwood District by Mr. George Davidson, chairman of the Kenwood School Memorial Fund, and Miss Henriette Bures, the Kenwood School Principal at the time. The painting was indeed purchased for Kenwood School as planned, and was formally presented at a Kenwood School PTA meeting and dinner held on September 14, 1947, at which Mr. Bruns was present and spoke to those in attendance. A small plaque recognizing Miss Roberton was attached to the frame. The painting was moved from the Kenwood School location at 35th Street and C Avenue N.E. to the “community room” adjacent to the main foyer of the present Kenwood School building on E Avenue N.E. prior to its opening in the spring of 1950.



Another painting was done in honor of Miss Henriette Bures, principal of Kenwood School from 1928-1950. It is so-labeled by a small plaque affixed to its light-colored natural wood frame and hung originally just inside the second set of front doors of the present Kenwood School building in 1950 to note the retirement of Miss Bures. Entitled “First Avenue,” it is an evening scene of First Avenue East in downtown Cedar Rapids and was painted especially for Kenwood School by Zora Pauk DuVall, art teacher at Kenwood from 1948 through 1954. It was purchased by the Kenwood PTA and staff as a memorial from Mrs. DuVall for the sum of $70.00.



This illustration of Kenwood Park School, located at the corner of 35th Street and ‘C’ Avenue N.E., is the work of noted local artist Jean Nelson Murray, whose family has lived in the Kenwood area since the 1930s. Mrs. Murray attended Kenwood School in this building from 1935-1941, and her three children attended the present Kenwood School. She was a “Gazette” fashion illustrator for Newman’s, Killian’s, and Armstrong’s Stores from 1952 to 1979, and has been a KGAN-TV broadcast courtroom illustrator since 1981. Mrs. Murray sometimes duets with her artist husband, Robert, in landscape and architectural art works. This illustration uses pastels, colored pencil, and pen and ink to represent a drawn-to-scale likeness of the actual brick bungalow-style building that was the school in Kenwood from 1921 to 1950. This picture was done by Mrs. Murray for the children, families, and neighbors of Kenwood in 2002, to be kept and displayed at Kenwood School. The matting and frame were purchased and provided by former Kenwood School student and teacher, Cindy Lundine, a longtime Kenwood resident and friend of Mrs. Murray and her family. Both Mrs. Murray and Ms. Lundine were present at a special reception for the unveiling and presentation of the picture to be kept on display at Kenwood School.



“Pheasants” is a drawing done by Cedar Rapids artist, James Landenberger. This numbered print was given to Kenwood School by its artist, James Landenberger, upon his visit to the sixth grade class in room 207 on January 28, 1977. He came as a part of Kenwood’s “Picture Presenter” program to demonstrate and discuss his art work. He inscribed the print and signed it for Kenwood School.



A copy of the Grant Wood painting known as “ Arbor Day “ was framed and given to Kenwood School by the Sixth Grade Class of 1951. It was purchased in full by donations of the class members. A brass plaque citing the gift is attached to the frame. Grant Wood was a resident of the Kenwood area during the 1920s and 30s, having lived on the east bank of Indian Creek and later building his own house located on Grove Court S.E. where he lived with his mother. He drew and painted scenes of Kenwood, including his oil entitled “Old Stone Barn” which depicts the historic Stone City stone barn that belonged to the Gustav Lundine family. This painting now hangs at the Cedar Rapids Museum Of Art.



This highly valuable hand-written and illustrated memorial list is in its original frame.  Completed shortly after the end of World War I in 1918, this hung in the second and third Kenwood Park School buildings located at 35th Street and C Avenue N.E.  It was later moved to the present Kenwood School building when it opened in March of 1950.  The list includes members of original families of the town of Kenwood Park, many of whom were students and graduates of Kenwood Park School.



The portrait of longtime Kenwood teacher, Marcia Elhart, was done by Kenwood art teacher, Jeremy Marlow.  It is enclosed in a wooden frame especially constructed by Mr. Marlow with Miss  Elhart’s name etched into it.  Mr. Marlow completed the painting in honor of Miss Elhart’s retirement after serving Kenwood students and their families for forty-four years,  marking the longest tenure of any teacher at Kenwood School.  The portrait was hung in the Kenwood School IMC at a reception honoring Miss Elhart on May 15, 2002, and has since been given to her.