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Monday, November 28, 2016

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City

North Entrance

I lived much of my adult life in Kansas City and visiting the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has always been a highlight. However, I had not visited since we moved out of the area and I was eager to renew my acquaintance with this beautiful facility.

The majestic neoclassical structure opened in the 1930s. I had never seen the new Bloch Building Addition, which opened in 2007. It is an architectural marvel with its five glass pavilions over an underground building.

Christmas tree
with Nativity set

Luckily for me, I visited over the Thanksgiving weekend, and a Christmas tree already lit up the lobby. Over twenty feet tall, the tree is stunning at first sight. Several people in front of me covered up a Nativity set at the base of the tree. When they moved, I was thrilled to see the beautiful figurines created a couple hundred years ago.

Virgin & Child, around
A few of the collections of the museum include ancient, European, Asian, American, Native American and modern art. Renaissance and religious art are always among my favorites. I spent some time admiring several works before heading to the Bloch Building and the photography exhibits.

I could spend days in these exhibits, lost in the creativity of the photographers and the emotions they capture. Since I only had a couple of hours, I saw only a fraction of the offerings. I certainly intend to visit again while I'm close to Kansas City.
European knight in armor

1864 photo of Andersonville prison
by Andrew Jackson Riddle
If you plan to spend the day, visit the Rozzelle Court Restaurant. The menu looks great. Also, if you're looking for a special gift, you may find it in the Museum Store.

Where should you begin? I suggest you check out their website ( before your visit. There is so much to see and you don't want to miss the collections or exhibits that are of special interest to you. If you have the opportunity, plan a visit before Christmas! I love that tree!

Visiting museums always evokes a sense of timelessness in me - an understanding that people in different ages and different cultures experienced the same hopes and dreams that we do today. I particularly sense this in ancient and medieval art. Each visit lives with me for days as I mentally wander through human history.
Bull set atop a column
at Persepolis in
the Persian Empire

The museum is free, but there is a charge to view the special exhibits.


  1. I have always loved this place. I used to pick my high school classes based on which ones were more likely to get me a field trip to the Nelson. I could spend days there. I got to share the place with my kids a few years ago. I don't know if they were quite as excited as me, lol, but I still loved showing them the things I still remembered all these years later. My youngest did get to make a "connection" when he found out the artist we were studying one week did the badminton birdies on the lawn. :-)

  2. LOL I didn't know my screen name would come up. This is Michelle Stine Duker, Aunt Pat. :-)

  3. Michelle, I love it too.It was awesome to spend some time there and to see so many people of all ages doing the same.