Nelson Old and Nelson New


Do you have a special place that you visit over and over,  year after year? We’ve been going to the Nelson since we moved to  Kansas City  in 1960. In grade school, we went there for field trips. And every time my family had visitors from out of town, we took them  there. Now my kids all enjoy being there, and we all take a “Nelson Day” when we need it.

IMG_0701Here I am at about age 6. It was my dad’s idea was to dress up the statues. I had thought that this was taken on the south side of the museum, but  I just checked with my brother, and he doesn’t think this is at the Nelson at all, so just consider it a free photo of yours truly taken on the same day that we  also went to the Nelson.

IMG_0704This one is at the Nelson on the south steps for sure, though. Looks like a Sunday afternoon outing after church. In those days, it wasn’t open on Sundays.

IMG_5668This was taken at night when I was there with two of my sons last winter.

IMG_5658The new Bloch building now adjoining the original building looks far more interesting at night than it does during the day, when it just looks like a warehouse. It’s nice on the inside, though.

IMG_5657Old building.

IMG_5683New building. Who are those fugitives?

IMG_1471Remember the pumpkin?

It was really fun wandering around the grounds at night.  We’ve been there for a couple of night time events, more recently, one that included star gazing on the front lawn. Here’s a photo of the front that night:
IMG_0681Those lights shining up through the reflecting pool are an art installation by Walter De Maria. If you’re in the parking garage, which is underneath the pool, you can see them from below. When I was a kid, there was just a big U-shaped driveway with parking in front, no water. Although I don’t “get” Walter De Maria’s art for the most part, I think it’s an improvement over a parking lot.

IMG_5677Goofing off.

IMG_5674 Just because.

IMG_4814 My daughters are contemplating an old friend of mine. I’ve visited this lion since the days of that first family photo. My brother showed me that you could stick your hand in the side of his mouth and dare people to put their fingers into the front of his mouth and then you could reach their hand and pinch their fingers. I got to do that a few times on school field trips back before you couldn’t touch any of the art.
IMG_1685I was going to save my indoor favorites for another post, but I’m putting him here to give you a better view. He’s now mounted on a special stand that is earthquake-proof.

IMG_1680Looking west towards the Bloch building, Rodin’s The Thinker overlooks the south lawn. I read once that there are 8 of these in the world.

IMG_4819                                            Three thinkers seen from behind.

IMG_4818                                                      Interacting with the art.
IMG_1688                                           Claes Oldenburg’s “Shuttlecocks”

IMG_1689                 Inside a shuttlecock, but without touching the art, of course.

And one more photo of fall leaves just because fall is quickly disappearing here, and it was really gorgeous: IMG_1684

I hope you enjoyed your mostly outdoor tour of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which is where I go when I need a break!



4 responses to “Nelson Old and Nelson New

  1. I agree. The Nelson is a different interesting at night. Love the front at night lit up by coloured pot lights. 😀
    I don’t have a favourite place I got to often, or at least I can’t seem to think of one.

  2. Thank you for sharing this wonderful place with us. Your joy in it shines through.

  3. Bloch building outside is hideous, but inside it’s really well done. Perhaps some drapes on the outside. We must also remember with reverence the plethora of little resin copies of The Thinker available at trinket shops. If I go to Paris again, I’ll have to get you one. Perhaps there is one made of perfumed soap. The Rodin Museum is nice an cozy and has a lot of stuff in the garden. I would love to go back. Wanna go with?

    • Roger, I honestly can’t imagine anyone I’d rather go there with.
      I was trying to be tactful about the Bloch building, so thanks for clarifying that.
      You know, they sell mugs of the Shuttlecock. I may have to get you one for Christmas.

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