Louise Bourgeois' supersized Spider dominates the front lawn of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art Museum. (Bourgeois was in her mid 80s when she created this arachnid,not bad work for an older lady!)
The Kemper's holdings are based on the collection of R. Crosby Kemper, regional banking magnate whose family are local bigwigs. (There's also a Kemper Arena in K.C.) The Kemper celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2004, and is a welcome addition to the K.C. art scene. It's location is convenient to the Plaza Shopping District, and it's just a short stroll to the Nelson-Atkins Museum and the K.C. Art Institute as well. And it's always free admission here.
The Museum was designed by noted architect Gunnar Birkerts in an uncompromisingly modernist style. The building is spare on the outside, but the dramatic inside spaces show off the collection and special exhibits nicely.
This museum is one of the best in the country. It houses exibits that span about 5,000 years. According to their website, the museum is especially known for it's Asian artifacts, notibly from China. The museum opened in 1933, and has been expanding it's collection ever since. At the moment, they are doing some rennovations, so there may be some delays in seeing some of the exhibits.
The Kemper is Kansas City's other art museum. It has a nice collection of contemporary art. When I went there, the works of two California artists (Greg Rose and Jean Lowe) were on exhibit.
It is a relatively small museum. You should be able to see everything on display in an hour or two. They also have interesting sculptures on their grounds. The Kemper is near the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art--you can see both of them in one day.
Admission to the museum is free.
All great cities have their museum of art. Kansas City has the Nelson-Atkins. It is a big museum in terms of physical size and the size of its collections. You'll probably need a day to fully explore it.
Their collection is eclectic: Impressionist paintings, Henry Moore sculptures, modern and contemporary art, medieval European art, Ancient (including Egyptian) art, Asian art, etc. The museum also has excellent sculptures on its grounds.
Admission to the museum is free.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is one of the country’s premier art institutions. Its rich collections bring together masterpieces from every culture and period of the world, from ancient times to the present day.
Located in the very middle of the United States, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is one of the country’s premier art institutions. Its rich collections bring together masterpieces from every culture and period of the world, from ancient times to the present day. The Museum opened its doors in 1933 as a gift to the community from William Rockhill Nelson (1841-1915), founder of The Kansas City Star. Contributions from the estate of Mary McAfee Atkins (1836-1911) helped build the building.
The Nelson-Atkins has prestigious collections of European and American art, but it is known above all for its magnificent collection of Asian art, notably the arts of China, which has made it one of the nation’s centers for the study of Chinese art.
Modern sculpture is another area of distinction, both inside the Museum and outdoors in The Kansas City Sculpture Park, which features the country’s largest collection of monumental bronzes by the British sculptor Henry Moore as well as works by other modern masters.
The Museum also is home to outstanding collections of ancient art, decorative arts and the arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas. In addition to the permanent collection, visitors may enjoy an ever-changing schedule of special exhibitions organized by the Nelson-Atkins and other institutions. We hope our web site will aid you in planning a personal visit to discover for yourself these inspiring works of mankind’s imagination.
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art holds one of the finest collections of art in the United States. I've added some pictures of things to be seen there in a travelogue.
The giant 'birdies' on the front lawn make it easy to recognize the building.
Bodhisatvas are dieties who forgo nirvana until that time when all sentient beings shall have attained enlightenment
Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas city has large collections from different countries. It has an outdoor sculpture garden. Worth visiting.
Contemporary art in a striking setting. It's not a large collection, but definitely worth a visit. Outstanding restaurant on premises.