Kansas · Museums and History

The Unbelievable Studio & Museum of Lester Raymer in Lindsborg, Kansas

IMG-6969

Lindsborg, KS: McPherson County

I have found a handful of places in my travels that pull me in and it can’t quite be explained. Which is exactly why I love it when it happens. I can honestly say that the state of Kansas has produced such an occurrence multiple times. Red Barn Studio Museum had this affect and the energy pull went deeper at the very sight of just one single piece of furniture. We are going into the home, workplace, inspiring studio, and, now, museum of Kansas artist, Lester Raymer.

*We had the pleasure of getting a complimentary guided tour of Red Barn Studio. The views expressed are always our own. Let’s gallivant!

IMG-6988 (2)
The lead up to this historic property is a beautiful one. Just off Main Street and an opening into another world within Lindsborg. 212 South Main Street

Main Street Lindsborg is one of the best of its kind that you’re going to find in Kansas and the Midwest. Plenty of shops, great restaurants, friendly locals, and all of it packed into what they call Little Sweden. Then there’s Red Barn Studio that shows you the mind of an amazing artist and takes you out of Lindsborg for a little while. If you love re-purposed works, then you have found what could be one of the most interesting museums you can ever see.

IMG-6974
Lester Raymer was known for his never resting mind when it came to things we would throw away or even call junk. What many overlook at a garage sale or antique store was put to good use by Mr. Raymer.
IMG-6985
He was an artist that relied on selling his works to make a living. However, he loved making certain works for his wife that were never had a price tag attached. 
IMG-6971
There are few things in this museum that weren’t made by Lester Raymer. From the furniture, wood carvings, candle holders, and even some tools. 
IMG-6972
A lonely piece of wood or an old banister. A heap of mismatched scraps would be reborn into these famous works by Raymer.

Painting, carvings, carpentry, glass blowing, basket weaving, toy making, unbelievable works of metal ranging from aluminum, cast iron, tin and more… there’s nothing he wouldn’t challenge himself with.

IMG-6984

IMG-6976

IMG-6981

IMG-6977
I’ve painted many doors. Nothing like this!

You can see the passion of Lester Raymer at every turn in this one of kind studio. What is truly felt is the love he had for his wife, Ramona. So many of his works were made for her and inspired by the connection they had with each other. Her husband had endless talents and the enduring devotion to his soulmate was one of his greatest. Some artists have conveyed their feelings for a loved one in just one iconic piece. Raymer never stopped creating works that had his feelings for Ramona attached to them.

IMG-6980
Raymer’s trusty work station pulled me in several times during the tour. It felt like the old Lindsborg artist would be there sitting down every time I looked over to it.

Countless hours were spent here with Lester Raymer creating countless pieces of art. What you see in the picture above has been largely untouched since his death in 1991. It lured me in throughout the entire tour. I kept going back to it and when it wasn’t in sight, I was thinking about it. This is the energy field I referenced above and I kept hoping I’d see a glimpse of Raymer himself before we left. The bottle of wood glue half gone and probably still useful. Many tools arranged like a woodworking surgeon. Was the newspaper there for as a barrier or was it going to be used for something else or both? What received the last squirt of glue from Raymer? The last chalk drawing, the last piece of wood tapped from a chisel? What was given the last bit of ultimate approval of completion by its creator, Lester Raymer? What was the last tool to be set down and making the last sound from the bench by him? I will just need to come back and imagine the answer to all these questions again. This work bench is honestly my favorite one of Raymer’s pieces. The time poured into this very spot is as priceless as the artwork that you see in his studio and his works around the world in museums and private collections.

IMG-6989
You always have to leave at some point. A stroll through the grounds of this unforgettable studio is a great way to reflect on everything you just experienced here.

 

Always take in the historic magnitude where you’re at whenever you’re traveling. There are passionate collectors, educators, and fellow artists that love the life and art of Lester Raymer. Many of them may never get the opportunity to see the barn that he turned into a constant and evolving piece of art on its own. Stand by his work bench and let your imagination twist into the Lindsborg afternoon like his did day after day.

Be sure to like Visit Lindsborg on Facebook.

Follow Visit Lindsborg on Twitter.

Go to the Lindsborg CVB website and start planning your trip!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s