Cover photo for Marilyn Carbonell's Obituary
Marilyn Carbonell Profile Photo
1948 Marilyn 2022

Marilyn Carbonell

February 19, 1948 — December 22, 2022

A live stream will begin when the Celebration of Life starts around 3:30 pm CST on Friday, May 5, 2023. To view, please click on the blue "Watch Event" button under the "Events" section, or visit the following link:

Marilyn Carbonell, art historian and research librarian at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the Spencer Art Reference Library of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, entered eternal rest on December 22, 2022. A Visitation will be held on Friday, May 5th, at 3:00 pm at Muehlebach Funeral Care, 6800 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO 64131, with a Memorial Service following at 3:30 pm.

Marilyn was born in Chicago, Illinois on February 19, 1948, to Teofista and Luis Carbonell, both immigrants from the Philippines. Until her college years she lived in Chicago and briefly in the Philippines. Marilyn graduated from Knox College in 1973 with a B.A. in Art History. She earned her M.A. in Library Science in 1974 from Northern Illinois University, and an M.A. in Art History in 1983 from the University of Iowa. Her thesis was “Some Aspects of Romantic Painterly Style in the Work of Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A.”

Marilyn came to UMKC in 1976 as a reference librarian, where she met her husband, Professor of English David Weinglass, a noted scholar of the Anglo-Swiss painter Henri Fuseli. Marilyn was an active partner in his research, as well as in life.

In her 30 years at UMKC, Marilyn served as the head of Reference, Collection Development and Public Services. Some of her signature achievements included establishing the faculty liaison program and a preservation committee to care for the physical collections. While treasuring and preserving traditional library materials Marilyn also recognized the potential of the emerging digital world. She brought the first electronic databases to the library and with the support of private donors and foundations established the first online exhibitions. Along with the Friends of the Library, she oversaw a program to add over $1 million in support for library collections needed by faculty researchers. In 1988 she was elected to the UMKC chapter of the national honor society Phi Beta Kappa, and later served as President of the chapter for many years. She was a frequent collaborator with UMKC faculty in numerous governance committees and served as Adjunct Professor in the Department of Art and Art History while at UMKC and the Nelson-Atkins.

Marilyn was known to faculty and library staff for her exceptional reference research skills, her infallible memory for names and faces, her wide art historical knowledge, her many thank you notes and treats, and her execrable handwriting.

She retired from the UMKC Libraries with the title of Librarian Emerita IV when she was recruited by the then Director/CEO of the Nelson-Atkins Museum, Marc Wilson, to take a position as Head of Library Services. In her 12 years at the Spencer Art Reference Library, she expanded the library hours, services, and staff, and worked with donors to build library research collections such as the American Photography Collection and the Karen Gould Collection of Medieval Manuscripts. While with the Nelson-Atkins she also developed new programs to support teaching and research in the Kansas City community. In 1991 Marilyn worked with the local chapter of the Art Libraries of North America and was instrumental in bringing their international conference to Kansas City. In addition, she continued to work with UMKC faculty members to host the Mid-America Medieval Association conferences.

As a supporter and advocate for Kansas City artists, Marilyn achieved a long-time personal and professional goal by establishing the Artist Files Initiative at the Nelson-Atkins Museum. She consulted museum leaders, curators, library staff, commercial galleries, and artist organizations to identify more than 250 local artists to contact about creating a file of their work to be archived at the museum. By the time Marilyn retired from the Nelson-Atkins in 2018, more than 75 local artists had contributed to the files. In addition to documenting the work of each individual artist, the Artists’ File Initiative will also serve to document the developments in the local art world at a given time.

Marilyn was known to her many friends for her graciousness, her generosity, her humor, and her many cultural interests. She was a long-time supporter of KCUR public radio station and served on the community advisory board for many years. She was a passionate reader of murder mysteries, particularly those set in libraries and museums, and jokingly spoke of writing a mystery entitled Death by Baguette. She loved science fiction and was a confirmed Trekkie and fan of Babylon 5, which she watched from beginning to end several times. She was an avid collector of local artists’ works and gave many as gifts. Most of all she loved her Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and she amassed a large collection of corgiana over the years.

Marilyn was preceded in death by her husband, Professor David H. Weinglass of Kansas City, her mother, Teofista I. Carbonell, her father, Luis Carbonell of Chicago, and her sister, Rosalind Finch of Cupertino, California. Marilyn leaves behind her beloved Corgi named Sinjen (St. John), and her stepchildren Andrea Shane and Stefan Weinglass and grandson Jeffrey Shane.

There will be a livestream of the 3:30 Memorial Service on this webiste on the date of the service.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marilyn Carbonell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, May 5, 2023

3:00 - 3:30 pm (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Friday, May 5, 2023

Starts at 3:30 pm (Central time)

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