The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has an interesting history. Opened in 1933, it was built on the grounds of Oak Hall, the home of William Rockhill Nelson, the co-founder of the Kansas City Star newspaper. In his will, he gave up his entire estate to purchase artwork for public enjoyment. This endowment, in addition to a $300,000 donation by Mary Atkins, established the art museum. The construction of the museum itself was an impressive architectural achievement, however, the difficulty of getting a collection started was actually eased by the Great Depression, which caused the worldwide art market to be full of pieces to sell. This led to the museum quickly having one of the largest collections in the country!
The Nelson-Atkins currently contains over 40,000 works of art, a stunning amount for just one place! Here you can explore sculptures from Africa, Europe, and East Asia, or scratch your head at contemporary and modern art pieces. Needless to say, there is no shortage of art for visitors to enjoy here.
Check out this video of the museum, which showcases the wide variety of exhibits.
In addition to its massive art collection, the Nelson-Atkins also offers multiple classes and experiences. Both youth and adult art classes are offered, and the museum hosts annual festivals showcasing different cultures. You can partake in a Chinese New Year celebration, a Passport to India, a Day of the Dead, and a Deaf Cultural Festival. Admission to the museum is free, and you can visit every day (except Tuesday) from 10 am-5 pm.
Cover image by jpellgen (@1179_jp) is licensed under (CC by 2.0).