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The Maupin Collection is a selection of art works primarily collected between the 1960’s and the mid 80’s by the once large and influential Kansas-based, upscale, worldwide tour company, Maupintour.  I had the great pleasure of working at Maupintour for the better part of the last decade, and in the spring of 2007 I purchased the collection from new owners who wished to liquidate some company assets.  It was a lucky circumstance for me, one that has brought me great pleasure, but the full collection has always been more than I have the ability to keep.  I’ve always intended to find appreciative homes for all the pieces, and though it’s taken me a while, I hope this site helps me find those appreciative homes.  Maupintour continues to take travelers around the world, but I left their employ in 2008 and myself and this site is not in any way connected with the company.

One of the things these pieces represent for me is the power of living and doing business in harmony with your passions, the things you or your business stand for.  I believe that, in essence, there is great power in “putting your efforts – and your money – where your heart is.”  In our personal lives and in business, doing so creates a harmony that supports, complements and even increases efforts and dividends.  When private and public faces match, what one stands for is clear – resulting in natural, positive responses from others, the community, or a company’s market.    As relates to business, I’m pleased to find this message detailed in a recent book by longtime marketing and advertising agency owner Roy M. Spence, “It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For:  Why Every Extraordinary Business Is Driven by Purpose.”

Not to in any way disparage the company today, but it is without doubt that at its peak under the original owners, Maupintour was indeed an extraordinary business driven by purpose, led by a visionary and in harmony with what it stood for.

Maupintour (Tom Maupin Tour Associates) was formed in Lawrence, Kansas in 1951 by Tom Maupin.  By the time Tom Maupin died in 1985, suddenly and too soon, he and his life and business partner, Neil Mecaskey, had built the company and themsevles into tourism industry legends.  During the 1950’s, Maupintour expanded the frontiers of modern American tourism with some of the first group tours to venture behind the Iron Curtain and to the Holy Land.  Tom Maupin and Neil Mecaskey never looked back.  They promoted living and traveling well.  They and their growing team of curious and intelligent employees superbly handled the details of Americans traveling abroad.  Through globe-spanning relationships and artful attention to meaningful travel experiences, they created and brought unique, culturally enriching travel experiences to increasing numbers of American travelers.  As success increased, Tom Maupin and Neil Mecaskey truly put their money where their heart was – into art, culture, beauty and traveling well.  Their former homes and personal collections are still remembered and spoken of with awe by those who knew them.  These passionate men also made sure that the company offices were full of beautiful and appropriate art, surrounding the employees with works in harmony with the company’s tourism roles, cultural appreciations and spirit of good living.  Some of Tom Maupin’s most personal passions were represented in the company’s art collection, most notably in the form of 5 antique wooden carousel horses.  The horses are tangible, visceral reminders of carefree childhood joy – and of the more experienced understanding that the journey is more important than the destination.  In the early 1980’s, one of these graceful steed made the global rounds adorned on the cover of the company’s Christmas card.

The collection includes wonderful pieces by notable Kansas artists such as Raymond Eastwood and Louis Copt, as well as a fun selection of vintage, collectible travel posters and prints, and a variety of interesting limited edition, collectible artworks.   Amongst the latter is the 1964 Marc Chagall Romeo and Juliet lithograph, one of an unnumbered edition of 5000 published by the Paris tourism board to mark the unveiling of Chagall’s dramatic ceiling at the Paris Opera.  This particular print is one of a very a few expressively hand-signed by Marc Chagall with a large charcoal pencil.  Also included in the collection is a piece from the famed Parisian printmaker Chaix’s Maitre de L’Affiche subscription series published in the late 1800’s, and a few very nice collectible etchings such as the 1823 Rossini piece depicting the Vatican and Castel St Angelo.

While I pay deference to the original art by Raymond Eastwood and Louis Copt, many consider the high point of the collection to be the antique, wooden County Fair style Carousel Horses.  There are two sets of “twins”, one set is Armitage-Herschell, circa 1898, which I have given the titles of Black Beauty and White Star, and other set is U.S. Merry-Go-Round Co., which I call, simply,  Red and Green.  Then, there is the captivating, lone Brown Beauty, a Charles Dare horse, whom we’ve named ‘Sandy.’  I am working to put all online, so bookmark this site and return to enjoy and have the opportunity to purchase this collectible artwork.  Please feel free to leave comments and posts and send me emails, questions and comments.  I especially would appreciate any and all recollections and stories of Tom Maupin, Neil Mecaskey and the glory days of Maupintour.

Thank you for your interest ~ enjoy!

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Company, Art & Artists