By Associated Press - Saturday, July 4, 2015

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - After almost 50 years together, the portraits of two brothers have been removed from a soon-to-be razed University of Kansas residence hall that bears the last name of the renowned scientists.

The portraits of Elmer McCollum, who discovered vitamins A and D, and Burton McCollum, a seismology pioneer, will now overlook students studying their respective sciences, the Lawrence Journal-World ( ) reports.

In 1966, artist Daniel MacMorris, who is best known for the murals at the Liberty Memorial and the downtown library in Kansas City, Missouri, painted the portraits of the brothers.

For decades, they hung next to one another in McCollum Hall. But the school had to find new homes for the lobby fixtures because the residence hall has closed and is facing the wrecking ball later this year. McCollum Hall is being replaced with two new dorms that are opening this fall.

Elmer McCollum’s portrait now hangs on the third floor of the School of Pharmacy, while the portrait of Burton McCollum, whose work led to breakthroughs in oil drilling, is at the Kansas Geological Survey, awaiting a spot to be chosen for display.

Kevin Boatright, director of external affairs for KU’s Office of Research, knew about the portraits and the McCollums’ contributions to science. When he heard McCollum Hall would be razed, Boatright began to wonder: Would the brothers end up in a basement somewhere, never to be seen again?

Hoping not, Boatright made some calls and, with the blessing of KU Housing, helped secure the portraits’ new homes.

“Both of these people were famous in their respective professions. It’s just amazing that they were brothers, and they both went to KU,” Boatright said. “We don’t want to forget what they accomplished.”

McCollum Laboratories on West Campus is named for Burton McCollum, whose estate funded its construction. Boatright said that building already has a different portrait of Burton inside.


Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World,

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