If you grew up in Kansas City or anywhere nearby, chances are you’ve been to the Nelson at least once in your life. Kansas City’s primary art gallery has been open since 1933 and is the most extensive collection of artwork in the city. It’s the perfect place for an art buff to spend an afternoon (or several).
Before you ever enter the building, you’re inundated with art. From the stark contrast of the Bloch building (the first actual extension of the building since its opening which opened itself in 2007) in comparison to the Beaux-Arts main gallery, through to the front lawn and sculpture gardens (most notably featuring the Shuttlecocks), you begin the journey before reaching any traditional paintings, modern photographs, or ancient artifacts.
One inside, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the beauty. Massive pillars stretch to glorious glass ceilings, signs point out a myriad of exhibitions ranging from the ancient world through today, and the cafe beckons with delicious smells and the tinkling of fountain water. But never fear! The museum is free and parking is cheap, you can come back if you like! Just pick a direction and go!
Perhaps you’ll find yourself wandering through the Native American exhibit, the newest of the wings and one of the largest in the country. Or, perhaps you’ll find yourself int he freezing cold room where they keep beautiful scrolls bearing calligraphic lettering of Asian empires long past. Maybe you’ll choose to wander the ground floor on a tour of the Classical world- Egypt, Greece, Rome, it’s all there. Instead, you might end up enjoying the Regency era portraits and other Amerian art. Of course, if you’re like me, you’re going to be exceedingly thankful for the padded benches placed strategically in front of the glorious Monet your friends have to drag you away from.
Once you’ve had your fill of artwork (or just before security tells you it’s time to leave), be sure to save a little bit of time for the gift shop. There’s your typical t-shirt and postcard fare, but there’s also a lot of products you can’t usually find in stores (specifically, goofy products from Fred and Friends) and some unique items as well. In addition, the gallery has special events you can watch out for on their website.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is located at 4525 Oak Street in Kansas City, Missouri and is open Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 am-5pm and Thursday-Friday 10 am-9 pm. The museum is free, but special exhibits may require tickets. For more information, check out their website.
A personal note from AJ: I apologize for the insanity of this week. Due to a family emergency, I’m running a bit behind in the real world so things are a little stuttered here. As such, there will not be a Friday Links Roundup this week. Instead, there will be a double feature next week. Thank you so much for your understanding!