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Located at:
    704 North Fourth Street
   Atchison, Kansas

Hours Open:
Saturdays and Sundays 1-5 p.m.
Wednesdays 10-5 p.m.

This page covers basic information about the Muchnic Home. If you are looking for the most in-depth description anywhere (besides visiting the Muchnic Gallery itself), look no further. Click here, for the virtual tour of the Muchnic Home. Please remember though, no written words nor pictures can take the place of visiting the Muchnic Home for yourself.

Background

     The Muchnic house, one of the most elegant of Atchison's stately Victorian mansions, was built in 1885. The 14-room, three story, brick residence was built by a lumber merchant, George W. Howell.
      It was purchased by H.E. Muchnic, founder of LFM (now Atchison Casting), in 1922 for $9,000. The house is now owned by The Muchnic Foundation, which has made it available to the community for use as a gallery and for related art functions. The Atchison Art Association is responsible for the management of the gallery.

Handcrafted Masterpieces

     For several years prior to construction, Mr. Howell, the builder, carefully collected beautiful woods to use in the interior. Especially noteworthy are the handsome parquet floored of walnut, mahogany and oak. The lower and upper halls, the dining room and library floors are of intricate design and beauty. All the woodwork is carved, and especially unique are the carvings of the faces on the ornate newel posts in the lower hall. The eight faces are said to represent the Howell family.
     Cast bronze hardware is found on all the doors. Other notable details are the original fireplace tiles (each representing a theme), fireboxes, fenders and bronze fireplace trim. Embossed leather is found on the paneling in the dining room and both lower and upper halls. Beautifully etched glass embellishes the transoms above the bedroom doors on the second floor.
     The Leaded stained glass conservatory windows are appropriately of flower design. The top panels of the parlors and dining room windows are also decorative stained glass, but are presently covered by drapes. In the library, the decorative glass at the top can be seen through the the lace curtains.
     The third floor is completely finished, and with its fine hardwood floor, was originally used as a ballroom. All three floors are connected by a spiral staircase at the rear of the house. These are not available to be viewed by the public.

Artwork

     All the paintings on the main floor belong to the Muchnic family and are hung just as they were when they lived in the house. The paintings in the library are portraits done in the late 1930's; Mr. H.E. Muchnic (over mantle); Mrs. H.E. Muchnic (on North wall); Mr. Wm. H Muchnic, son (left of window); Mrs. Elizabeth Muchnic Mize, daughter (right of window); and Mr. Wm. M. Quigley, Mrs. Muchnic's father (in tower).

Antiques

     Furnishings of note include a collection of figurines displayed in the cabinet in the first parlor.
     A large antique French console table and mirror in the third parlor once belonged to the actress, Marie Dressler. A pair of vases and a bowl on the console are Sevres porcelain.
     The mirrors in the lower and upper halls were among the original furnishings in the house. Although they had been removed from the house, the Muchnics were able to acquire them and restore them to their original setting.

Elegant Traditions

     The Muchnics were very hospitable and loved to share their home with friends. Traditionally they entertained two generations of friends with a gala New Year's Eve dance. The three connecting parlors were cleared of furniture except on the perimeter; glittering candles sparkled before the mirrors on the mantles; and the entire lower floor was decorated with Christmas greens. An orchestra played for over 200 dancing guests. At midnight a buffet supper was served from the dining room after the New Year was celebrated with noisemakers. These were truly events to remember for years.

Gallery

     Since 1970 the second floor has been dedicated as exhibition space for the Atchison Art Association. Art classes, special events and rotating exhibits of some of our region's finest artists are featured throughout the year. Contact the Atchison Art Association for a full schedule of activities.

 

 

Main Page | Muchnic Art Gallery | About the Art Association | Online Art Gallery
 
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