Maupintour History

Maupin Travel Service 1950's Russian Info Brochure

Maupin Travel Service 1950's Russian Info Brochure


Maupintour is a worldwide escorted tour company founded in the 1950’s by Tom Maupin and based in Lawrence, Kansas for most of it’s history.  The art on this site was owned by Maupintour until 2007 when I purchased it.  This site is not affiliated in any way with Maupintour, which is still an operational tour company.  I am going to use this site and this page to discuss some of the history of Maupintour and it’s art collection. 


Tom Maupin and Neil Mecaskey.  Two Travelers, Living Their Passions. 

Passion, bravado, triumph, rewarding experience and exploration, as the world got smaller. 

Beginning in the mid 1950’s, Tom Maupin and Neil Mecaskey were the first to take American travelers behind the Iron Curtain.  According to reports, this was accomplished only after Tom Maupin slept on the floor of the Russian Embassy for 13 days, until the Russians were so sick of him they gave him visas for his group.  Of course, despite their visas, the group was met on the tarmac in Czechoslovakia by armed soldiers, and a literal stand-off occurred with Maupin planted in the doorway of the plane between guns and frightened Americans.  He reportedly received a few rifle jabs but didn’t budge.  Tensions eventually released, and the tour, and many afterwards, was a success.  (click here to read the full post) 

MaupinCollection County Fair style antique wood Carousel Horses 

By accounts, Maupintour purchased its five carousel horses in 1981 and/or 1982.  The Maupintour company Holiday card from 1984 has the Armitage-Herschell white horse on the cover, and an inside note in the card states:  The antique carousel horse pictured on the cover still retains its original decoration.  Created by artist Hershell (sic) Spillman, it was added to Maupintour’s corporate art collection in 1982.  Several of these magical steeds grace Maupintour’s headquarters in Lawrence, Kansas.  

The fact that all the horses were County Fair style is likely no accident.  County Fair carousel horses are the simplest, least adorned of carousel horses, designed for and used on small, portable carousels that were usually carted from one town and county fair to another.  The other main carousel horse styles are ‘Coney Island’ and ‘Philadelphia’ styles and those horses and menagerie were much more elaborately decorated, and the carousels larger and made for more permanent installation.  Regards the Maupin horses, Maupin & Mekaskey were both born (in the 1920′s) and raised in the Midwest.  Maupin in small-town Oklahoma and Mecaskey in Kansas City, MO.   Although this time period is towards the end of the traveling carnival heyday, it is likely that they rode quite a few country fair style horses during their youth.  Although, as adults, Maupin and Mekaskey’s travels literally spanned the globe, and they had a brownstone and social connections in New York City and a strong appetite for modern art, it is quite reasonable to believe that it was the simple country fair carousel horse that most fulfilled their youthful memories.  

The MaupinCollection carousel horses are all County Fair jumpers and represent a nice variety of makers within the County Fair style.  Each has its own charm & interesting features.   (click here to read the full post)

Some “Maupintour History” Links (click here)

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