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Independence Historical Museum & Art Center 8th and Myrtle
PO Box 294
Independence, KS 67301


10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
--Tues - Sat
Closed Sunday and Monday

Admission Fee
$5.00 Adults
$3.00 Ages 6-18
Free - Ages 5 & Under
Free Active Military

Holiday Hours

Closed on major holidays


Gary Mason is a native of Independence, KS. During high school he worked at the photography studio owned by Bryan and Genevieve Huff. He graduated from IHS in 1954. After high school, he attended Independence Junior College.

Upon graduation, Gary became a photography instructor at Emporia State Teachers College. In 1964, he took a leave of absence to work with the Episcopal Church, working at a Navajo Indian Reservation near Farmington, New Mexico. While there, he met and married his wife Sarah in 1963. Returning to ESTC, he continued teaching, as well as working toward his masters and pre-doctoral degrees. During this time, he published a 2 volume book on William Allen White.

In August of 1968, they moved to Lawrence, KS to teach at the University of Kansas. After ten years, they left KU when Gary became a working photographer for Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India. After returning to the U.S. Gary and his wife did make several trips back to Calcutta over the next 5 years.

In 1993, Gary worked for the Kansas Department of Aging, Emporia, KS. He retired in 1999, shortly after his wife passed away. Gary continued to do volunteer work for the Red Cross and the Department of Aging in Emporia. In 2003, he return to Independence, KS.

Gary Mason’s Proudest Accomplishments are:

  1. Working with Mother Teresa
  2. Exhibitor and winner of the Wilma Rudolph 1960 Olympic International Show.
  3. Exhibitor – 1962 Chilian Expo Photographic Exhibition.
  4. Exhibit in 1962 at Guggenheim Museum of Wilma Rudolph cutting the tape at the Olympic Games.
  5. Photographs from 1964 – 1984 for the Navajo History Book.
  6. Prepared slide show for Gordon Parks, noted photographer and film director, in 1978 of Mr. Park’s work from 1960 through 1970.