The Nelson-Atkins Museum
The Nelson-Atkins has over 33,500 works of art and is considered “one of the finest general museums in the United States.” It is home to African, Chinese, Modern, and Decorative Arts just to name a few.
The 17 acre Kansas City Sculpture Park at the Nelson-Atkins opened in 1989 and includes the largest collection of monumental bronzes outside of England. It includes works by Claes Oldenberg and Magdalena Abkanowicz (seen above), as well as works by Calder, Hepworth, Noguchi, von Rydingsvard, Renoir, Rodin and many others.
Works range from this gorgeous Asian Buddha…
…to contemporary works by artists like Subodh Gupta. This egg is made up of hundreds of tiffin pots from India. Both the material and subject touch upon the domestic theme that is often found in Gupta’s work.
Kemper Museum of Art
The Kemper opened in 1994 showcasing contemporary work by both emerging as well as established artists.
I loved this small, haunting image made with rust on wood by Esther Solondz.
And the large painting by David Bates was made in response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster. And the Petah Coyne tree with peacocks stood out against the bright blue walls. After looking around, be sure to visit Café Sebastienne for a yummy meal.
Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art
In a community college campus in Overland Park (30 minutes outside of Kansas City), one would not expect to find a state of the art contemporary art museum. But in fact, that is exactly what is there waiting to be discovered.
This $15 million building is 41,000 square feet. The elegant, minimalist building was designed by architect Kyu Sung Woo and is clad in Kansas limestone. Throughout the museum’s two levels are ten expansive galleries for temporary exhibitions and the permanent collection. The entrance features a dazzling 60,000 white LED installation by artist Leo Villareal. The permanent collection consists of gifts from the Oppenheimers. One stellar example from the permanent collection is the striking Do Ho-Suh sculpture made of thousands of dog tags which can be seen outside from the upstairs window.
Two other wonderful works from the collection are the Sillman and Ferris paintings. Both abstractions with multiple layers and gorgeous colors, they are the gems of the galleries I walked through during my visit.
But the real gift of this museum is that they are tremendously supportive of local Kansas artists. A nice blend of local and fantastic international contemporary work.
Photo credits: Nicole Berry & Brian Everett.