The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City

Photo Friday: Kansas City, Missouri

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When I went to Kansas City a few weeks ago, I did something I rarely do: I spent an afternoon inside a museum.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas CityThe Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas CityYou guys, I am just so not a museum type. I’m sorry if you are. I really wish I could be—as do my mom and SVV—but I’m more of an urban adventurer. And yet, I willingly ventured into the Nelson-Atkins Museum and actually enjoyed myself. Immensely.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas CityThere were a lot of things to like about Nelson-Atkins. First of all, it’s free. And who doesn’t love free?

The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas CitySecond, there’s a sculpture garden outside the museum. So you can only visit the lawn if you wish, or if you’re short on time.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas CityThe exhibits are all bright, bold and colorful. (i.e. You don’t necessarily have to “get” them, but can still enjoy their beauty nonetheless.)

The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas CityThe architecture inside and outside the building is just ridiculously gorgeous.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas CityThere are fun photo opportunities (always a bonus).

The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas CityThere’s some classic art in the older building if you dig that sort of thing.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas CityMe, I more prefer the garishness and unpredictability of modern art, so I spent the majority of my time inside the new Bloch building.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas CityMy only regret is not having someone with me so I could pose with the headless statues out front. Where was my personal photographer when I needed him?

The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas CityWhat’s your take on museums? Love ’em, leave ’em, have a favorite?

  • April 5, 2013
    Katy England

    Oh, I love museums and often seek them out when traveling. I love getting sucked into someone else’s talents (partly why I enjoy your blog/photographs/wanderlust) and I love being amazed at the fruits of their labor. What a great museum in Kansas City! Makes me want to visit and check it out. The wide-angle images in this post are spectacular, btw!

    • April 6, 2013

      Awww, thank you for the nice words! Yes, the GoPro is awesome for museum interiors even though it isn’t ideal in low-light scenarios.

  • April 5, 2013

    As an artist, I love museums. I like going to them to pay homage to my art ancestors, to sit and contemplate, and sometimes, often times actually, to do research. One of my favorite museums in the world is the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. There is nothing like seeing the Impressionists in real, tangible, life on the canvases. But my favorites tend to change. I love history museums, those odd little single subject/collection museums, and archaeological sites too.

    My advice, when on the road, hit at the most one museum a day (if it’s a short trip, every few days if it’s a long one), and don’t be afraid to go for an hour, leave and come back the next day (or another day) for a another hour. There is no need to stay the entire day at the museum. Go away, contemplate, do some urban hiking or other adventure, and go back to the museum if you feel you’ve missed something. Mix it up. Even for artists it makes the experience more bearable!

    • April 6, 2013

      I do actually really like d’Orsay, but most art kind of bores me (sorry!) unless it’s contemporary, mixed media or photography. I guess I don’t really know enough about classical art, so I prefer more museums like Nelson-Atkins that offer a bevy of styles.

      • April 6, 2013

        Share a secret?

        Most art bores me too! My challenge is seeking out stuff that moves me. That’s part of the hunt called travel : )

  • April 5, 2013

    Ugh, museums make me claustrophobic. I don’t like being stuck in one place, just wandering around. Plus they’re always hot as hell and you have to lug all your crap around with you. I really only like going to museums when I have a goal piece I want to see. Or, when they’re free. Free museum? Yeah, okay, I can get on board with that. It gives me an opportunity to see if maybe after 30 years I’ve finally become a museum person. (Doubtful.) Unrelated, but I also feel this way about going to the movies. I so wish I could be a movie person. But (rather than it being too hot) it’s always cold and you’re stuck in a dark room with strangers and what do you mean I have to sit here for 2+ hours unmoving? I can’t fold laundry? Sweep the floor? Check my email? Yeah, no, not paying for that “experience.”

    • April 6, 2013

      So funny, I’m the opposite with movie theaters. I will NOT watch movies in my home as I always find a million things to do (like laundry and Internet and housework) so I HAVE to go to the theater to force me to sit still for a change and actually watch something.

    • April 6, 2013

      I’m with you when it comes to movie theaters! You’d have to pay me to sit in one these days. Here they are noisy, people don’t treat it like a night out, rather more like an extension of their dysfunctional living rooms. I watch movies on the laptop and give them the respect they deserve, my undivided attention!

    • April 9, 2013

      I only watch movies at home too. My tech-y husband has us set up with a great system, and it means I get to be in my jammies, lounging on the couch, eating whatever (usually healthier) snacks I want, pausing for bathroom breaks. Plus, no loud obnoxious people and temperature control!

  • April 5, 2013

    That reminds me a lot of the Rodin museum in Paris, which has sculptures scattered all over the garden (including the Thinker) as well as in the house, if all you want to do is stroll and chill out. One of my favourites, definitely. You don’t get ‘museum feet’.

    • April 6, 2013

      OK, putting it on my list for Paris in May!

      • April 6, 2013

        Definitely the Rodin museum. It’s in his house/studio and the grounds are not large, but lovely, and as in all places in Paris – there are plenty enough places to take a break and sit.

  • April 5, 2013

    The Rodin sculptures took me back to our visit to Musée Rodin in Paris as well! This looks like a great museum – your photos are fabulous! I love museums and I have one kid that also loves them and one that loathes them – so we have to compromise about how many we are going to visit. I think Musée d’Orsay is my absolute favourite – and both kids loved it too!

    • April 6, 2013

      I actually love d’Orsay. That’s one of the few art museums that I’m a big fan of…I’ll be in Paris in May. Perhaps I should go to Rodin, too. Can’t remember if I’ve been before as it’s been nearly a decade since my last real trip to Paris!

      • April 9, 2013

        When we visited last year the museum was closed for renovation but the gardens were open so we just had a quick walk around before they closed for the day. If you’re not keen on museums then I would stick to the gardens – they are lovely, you will see several of the most familiar sculptures, and I think it cost 1 Euro admission. If you have seen Midnight in Paris then you will have had a sneak peek as they tour the gardens.

  • April 5, 2013

    I love (some of) them but only visiting them alone. Or at my own pace …

    • April 6, 2013

      True! Visiting alone I can breeze through them if I like. If I were to go with my mom, I’d be stuck in them for hours!

  • April 5, 2013

    I have always considered myself a major museum lover, but have been surprised to see my attention span for them wane in recent years, which I’m afraid is a result of my digital career/addiction. Like you I prefer modern art, though with a BFA the former art student in me does love seeing the old masters occasionally — brings me back to lecture!

    • April 6, 2013

      I do love me some photography museums, but traditional art is so not for me.

  • April 6, 2013

    You should check out the Kemper Museum the next time you’re in Kansas City – all contemporary art and worth the visit for the giant spider sculpture out front alone 🙂

  • April 6, 2013

    I love the way you wrote this! (And I love your pics, too, of course.) I also don’t do museums. I just don’t. I like the idea of them, and sometimes I actually enjoy being in them, but to carve out a few hours in my day? Rarely happens. 🙁

  • April 6, 2013

    I’m not usually into art museums either. I tend to find modern art even less interesting than the more classical stuff, but the exhibits you’ve got here look pretty cool! I don’t get the kind of art that’s just a blank canvas or a dot, but I can do broken graffiti and neon pyramid.

  • April 7, 2013

    Love the green shattered painting

  • April 8, 2013

    I love most museums, but especially art museums! I think my favorite of all time (at least that I’ve been to) is MoMA in NYC. But as an Angeleno, I always love a visit to LACMA, and especially their contemporary art wing!

  • April 8, 2013

    I love museums but don’t always spend my precious traveling days inside one. This looks like a museum I would really enjoy, though. Lots of different periods represented and great architecture. I had no idea Kansas City had such a nice museum!

  • April 8, 2013

    I’m not a museum person either, but occasionally I find one that sparks my interest. This one looks pretty interesting. I can see why you liked it.

  • April 9, 2013

    I like museums, but not really of the art variety. History and science type places, yes, but I can spend only about an hour wandering around looking at art before I just get bored and antsy. Although I also really liked the d’Orsay!

  • April 9, 2013

    Did you do the whole museum thing when you were in Europe? (i.e., italy, england, france)

  • April 10, 2013

    Museums…needs to be different to spark interest too, at least to me 🙂

  • April 11, 2013

    Hate museums; they’re typically torture for me! Two notables: Doge’s Palace and Isabella Stewart Gardner in Boston! Have a fantastic weekend. Headed to Beantown – might be looking for insider recommendations!

  • April 12, 2013

    I love how this whole post is with a fish-eye effect, gives the reader a whole new perspective. Did you shoot with a fish-eye lens or smart device?

  • April 15, 2013

    Excellent post! Thanks for sharing.

  • April 15, 2013

    Really love the museum. Can’t wait to visit there.

  • April 16, 2013

    I love museums, so long as they’re not art museums. I love a good history museum or science museum, but, as we learned in Paris last year, I can only handle so many old paintings of flowers and dudes and hunting scenes.

  • April 19, 2013

    Oh well, you know I love them! Particularly contemporary museums- I like pieces that make me think- why did the artist make this? what were they trying to say, if anything? And how I interpret different art with my perspective and life experiences.

    My husband isn’t a museum guy either. The trick for me is not to keep him there too long. He tends to like them if it’s short and sweet- a few cool pieces and moving on.

    But this museum looks really beautiful and it looks like you had a great time!

  • January 14, 2014

    I found this post through your 2013 recap for the first time – and coincidentally at the same museum in July! I got my 3-year-old niece to pose with the headless statues in an (ironically) cute pose. 🙂 Enjoyed that one a lot!

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