Spencer Art Museum of Kansas purchases Coleman painting

Photo: Katharine Gates

Spencer Art Museum of Kansas just purchased Joe Coleman's 1992 painting,"The Ballad of Quantrill's Raiders" for their permanent collection. The portrait delves into one of the more horrific periods of Kansas history, in which a Confederate guerilla names William Quantrill looted, sacked and murdered in towns along the Kansas-Missouri border.

From Wikipedia: "Early on the morning of August 21, Quantrill descended from Mount Oread and attacked Lawrence at the head of a combined force of as many as 450 guerrillas. Senator Lane, a prime target of the raid, managed to escape through a cornfield in his nightshirt, but the guerrillas, on Quantrill's orders, killed 183 men and boys 'old enough to carry a rifle', Quantrill, known to be armed with several French pinfire revolvers, his favorite weapon of choice, carried out several personally, dragging many from their homes to execute them before their families. The ages of those killed ranged from as young as 14 all the way up to 90.When Quantrill's men rode out at 9 a.m., most of Lawrence's buildings were burning, including all but two businesses. His raiders looted indiscriminately and robbed the town's bank."