Visit The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City

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The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Kansas CityThe reviews tell the story of this fantastic museum: “Simply awesome”, “A must visit when in the area”, “Worth a trip”, and “Lots to look at”. Visitors to The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art are impressed with the art, the layout of the exhibits, and the special events at this museum.

This world-class museum is located just 30 minutes from Hawthorn B&B at 4525 Oak Street, Kansas City, MO, and in the heart of Kansas City. The outdoor space around the museum is itself a work of art. Gardens, walkways, water features, and famous sculptures and pieces of art enhance the initial experiences of the museum.

View of a water feature outside the Nelson-atkins Museum of Art

Photo credit: Beth Byers

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art was built on the grounds of Oak Hall – the home of William Rockhill Nelson, publisher of the Kansas City Star. He donated the proceeds from his entire estate to purchase artwork for public enjoyment. Mary McAfee Atkins, a former school teacher and widow of a real estate developer, bequeathed $300,000 in 1911 to establish an art museum. The trustees of the two estates decided to combine, and with other smaller bequests, formed the current museum.

The first building started in 1930 and the classically designed museum opened in 1933. In 2007, an addition called the Bloch Building opened and increased the exhibit capacity by 55%. The Bloch building is an example that architecture and art can coexist in a beautiful, functional structure.

The Museum has twelve permanent exhibit features including African, Ancient, Design & decorating, Chinese, Modern Photography, and Southeast Asian art and sculpture. The European Art Collection includes painting and sculpture from the medieval period to the late 19th century. One of the most important pieces in this collection is Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness by Caravaggio – one of only ten Caravaggio works held in the US!

There are currently three temporary exhibitions at the Nelson-Atkins Museum and one Festival on the schedule. If you wish to see “Through the Eyes of Picasso”, you must plan to visit by April 8, 2018. The exhibit not only contains works by Picasso, but also shows some of the art that Picasso collected, displayed in his own living space, and lived with. Learn about and see some of the influences on Picasso’s work. Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $10 for students.

“Dreams of the Kings: A Jade Suit for Eternity” is the second temporary exhibition currently on display. This special collection contains examples of jade and gold that survived from ancient China and includes a 2000-year-old, life-sized gold and jade burial suit from the tombs of the Kings of Chu. If you purchase a ticket for this exhibit, you will also receive a ticket for the Picasso exhibit through April 8, 2018.

An exhibition of a contemporary photojournalist is available until April 15, 2018. “Eugene Richards: The Run-On of Time” is a retrospective showing that features an American born in 1944. Eugene Richards is a highly respected documentary photographer who focuses on the diverse, complex lives of Americans and on the struggles of the poor in the world. He looks deeply into the eyes and the struggles of people living in poverty and dealing with the challenges of life such as cancer, drug addiction, mental illness, and emergency medical situations. He hopes that these documentary visions will help to begin conversations to change and improve the world. Special programs are scheduled too. On Friday, March 9, 7-8pm, enjoy a conversation with one of the museum curators about Richards’ work. On Saturdays, March 10 & 17, 1-4pm see “Reel to Real: Movies & Conversation’.

“Passport to India” is the cultural Festival on tap for April 15, 2018. Enjoy traditional Indian music, dance, a fashion show, and demonstrations of calligraphy and use of henna. Stay for lunch – choosing from Indian cuisine from 11am- 4pm. Admission to the festival is free! Parking is free for members of the museum; $10 for non-members.

Admission to The Nelson-Atkins and permanent exhibits is FREE to give everyone the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful art. The museum is a gathering place for people in the community to view, discuss, and contemplate some of the greatest artistic creations of humankind.

Come to Kansas City for the art experience; Stay at Hawthorn B&B to experience great hospitality.

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