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“Best Art!”

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
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Ranked #2 of 157 things to do in Kansas City
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Drop in for an hour, come for lunch, or spend the entire day wandering through world-class galleries. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is the cultural jewel of Kansas City and just three blocks from the Country Club Plaza, and admission is free. The Nelson-Atkins, recognized as one of America’s finest art museums, strives to be the place where the power of art engages the spirit of community. With 40,000 works of art, the Nelson-Atkins is best known for its new Bloch Galleries, featuring Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, plus its Asian art, photography, American paintings, American Indian and Egyptian galleries. The Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park, a beautiful setting for a walk or picnic, is an oasis in the city and home to notable sculptures.
Reviewed November 25, 2013

This museum rocks! It has art that rivals what I saw in Paris!! From Monet to Rodin, it has it all. And the best part is it's FREE!!!

Thank Bis4Barbie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 25, 2013

The museum is awesome. I'd go more if I have time. They have rotating exhibits -- you must check them out. The museum's general collection is awesome. They are always improving. There are many free days that you can attend. Great place to have fun with friends outside. Awesome place for introspection while walking the collection. Its usually very quiet, even when there are others near you. The natural lighting...just lovely.

Thank Tiffany C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2013

This is an AMAZING museum! Kansas City isn't that big - so for it to have a world-class museum is truly amazing. The museum includes some Egyptian pieces that are incredibly rare and only found in a very small handful of museums around the world.

I didn't have a chance to try the restaurant, but I hear it's charming.

Thank daysaint
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2013

Taking a stroll through the park takes a different meaning at Kansas City’s Nelson-Atkins Museum.

The museum, near the Country Club Plaza shopping district, is home to the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park. The trail around the museum grounds takes up 22 acres and has about 30 sculptures.

Near the start of the park’s walk is a large bronze sculpture.

Walking around the grounds, you see several pieces of artwork. They are diverse. You will see a Native American totem pole with the US bicentennial logo carved in it. You will see a group of headless bodies.

The walk offers a great view of art.

At one point, we saw an art student working on a pencil drawing of one the pieces. She was engrossed in her studies.

Several people were taking advantage of the sunny day. They ranged in age from high school students to senior citizens.

One sculpture we really liked was a tree that looked aluminum. It was shining brightly in the sun; in the background were real trees.

“Ferment” stands 56 feet high. It combines the combination of all things nature – human bodies to river deltas to erosion patterns, according to the museum’s description.

It’s described as an agitation and turbulent change. The branches represent “the surging energy of creation, growth, transformation, decay and regeneration,” the description says.

The park walk offers a fantastic view of the museum and its landscape.

An interesting piece near the museum building highlights the invisibility and isolation during rush hour in a city like New York. The George Segal (artist, not actor) used friends as the models for the piece.

Farther along in the walk, you encounter an orange-painted sculpture called “Rumi.” It stands 24 feet tall. Described as metal calligraphy, it’s a leap into the air, says the artist, Marc Di Suvero.

The upper side of the Nelson-Atkins has a reflection pool. It adds to the aesthetic view of the grounds.

“Standing Figures” is just off the upper side of the museum. The 30 figures by Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz gives different interpretations. It’s basically up to the observer to determine what they mean – holocaust victims? Mob? Ghosts? It’s up to you to decide what you think it is.

A Native American totem pole sits near the front of the museum. It was created to celebrate an exhibition of Native American artwork in 1977. At the top of the totem is a raven. Its claws hold the Kansas City symbol. At the bottom is a frog. Three figures between the raven and frog represent a patron, the city’s mayor and the museum’s director.

Near the front of the museum is a replica sculpture of the famous “The Thinker.”

Perhaps the best known sculptures on the museum grounds are the badminton shuttlecocks. Four shuttlecocks are located throughout the park.

The front lawn of the museum has two shuttlecocks. The sculptures are the collaboration of married artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

The shuttlecocks stand more than 17 feet tall and weigh more than 5,500 lbs. The sculptures were dedicated to the museum in 1994.

While I admit I’m not very art museum-cultured; exhibits like the ones on the park trail engage me. They help me realize I need to visit art museums more often and actually take in what they have to offer.

So, who knows, next time you’re in a museum, I may be the guy holding a program and talking all hoity toity about the meaning of a painting or sculpture. Ok, just kidding. It’s unlikely I could ever try to determine the meaning of a piece of art.

1  Thank Mustangdad1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2013 via mobile

Its a nice environment esp. In the courtyard very beautiful esp in fall and spring season. Inside the building though i did not enjoy very much except the special event of the museum.

Thank Gisharo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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