Free photo exhibit about Underground Railroad on display at Gorman Discovery Center in Kansas City

News from the region
Kansas City
Published Date

Kansas City, Mo. – Nature’s outdoor settings have a unique mystery at night. Photographer Jeanine Michna-Bales has captured the images of trees, fields and rivers that freedom seekers on the Underground Railroad would have seen as they journeyed at night before the Civil War. A free exhibit of her art entitled Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad, will be on display now through Jan. 4 at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center in Kansas City.

An estimated 100,000 slaves fled to freedom between 1830 and the end of the Civil War in 1865. They usually traveled at night often in rugged terrain away from roads where they could be easily pursued. Michna-Bales took photographs along 2,000 miles of one Underground Railroad route that ran from Louisiana to Canada. The viewer sees scenes and shadows as the slaves may have seen them as they walked by night toward freedom. ExhibitsUSA, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance, helped organize the display.

This free exhibit is displayed in the north wing of the Gorman Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave. The center is open Tuesday through Saturday. Visitors can also see nature exhibits, stroll in the outdoor garden, and visit the MDC Nature Shop. The award-winning 2020 Natural Events Calendars are now available for purchase.

For more information about Gorman Discovery Center hours and events, call 816-759-7300 or visit