Kellerman Foundation receives thousands of dollars' worth of exhibit material

The old City Hall's City Council chambers, which could house the Kellerman Foundation's new Charles Rhinehart exhibit, is still in the process of being finished Monday, May 20.
Nathan Gladden ~

The Kellerman Foundation has received $31,000 worth of glass panels from the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis among other discounted display materials from the museum.

Along with donating the glass panels, the museum also gave the foundation 36 reading rails and other display cases with glass tops. Mary Ann Kellerman said the foundation wanted the reading rails for exhibits for a long time to put in front of an exhibit and tell the story.

“We couldn’t afford those,” Kellerman said. “So we’re going to share some of them with the River Heritage Museum because they don’t have any either.”

Kellerman said the foundation started to build a relationship with the St. Louis-based museum when it came to Cape Girardeau for the centennial celebration of the Missouri flag. She said the foundation acquired different components since the museum had taken down its 1904 World’s Fair Exhibit and opened a different version of it. The Kellermans also acquired 85 wall and connector pieces for $6,000 in donor money from the Missouri Heritage Museum. Kellerman said they would’ve been $45,000 when the museum originally bought them.

Charles Rhinehart paintings

The foundation also was given “all” of Charles Rhinehart’s large paintings that were still left when he died in 2020, from Rhinehart’s wife. Mary Ann said Bert Kellerman and she became close friends with Rhinehart’s wife, Lavetta.

She said Charles’ work has gone for “$30,000 for 45 years and much more out west.”

“Everything that was left Lavetta has given us because she wants to tell his story. She wants us to do a legacy for Charles,” Mary Ann said.

She said the perfect place for the Rhinehart museum will be in the old City Hall’s City Council chamber, which used to be Lorimer School’s gymnasium. They’ve paid to roof and paint that portion of the building, with the roofing costing $60,000 and the painting around $9,500.

Mary Ann said that part of the building and exhibit could open when the paintings are hung up.

“We do want to open the Rhinehart area fairly soon. I would think by the end of the summer,” Mary Ann said.

A grand opening date has not been set as work continues on the building at 401 Independence St.