Treasures of Kansas City’s Nelson-Atkin’s Museum Part I: Photography

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Ask anyone who’s been to Kansas City what is the number one attraction and you’ll likely get many different answers. Some might say the Bar-B-Que or the many fountains, maybe even the national world war one memorial. But many will mention the Nelson_Atkins museum of Art or as locals call it “the Nelson”.  For over eighty-four years, the Nelson is beloved in Kansas City and deservedly so.

Thinking of visiting Kansas City?  You  must make the nelson a part of your visit.

The museum was built in 1933 and the original art was purchased from the estates of William Rockhill Nelson and Mary Macafee Atkins both of prominent Kansas City families. The museum opened in the height of the great depression and has always been free. (although donations are graciously accepted). Even some of the readers who are native Kansas Citians might be surprised to know that up until 1983, the museum was actually two different galleries in the same building and didn’t formally combine until that year.

The photography galleries include newspaper photographs, historical  photos as well as the collections of many independent photographers

In 2007, the museum became over 50% larger with addition of the Bloch galleries. These gallery contain contemporary, and African art exhibits as well as one of the largest photography exhibits in the nation. The Hall family who were founders of Hallmark Cards, donated there entire photography collection to the museum. the collection is so vast, it is constantly being rotated. this assures the visitors of seeing different  photographs with every visit.

The extensive collection includes black and white as well as color photographs. They cover from the mid 1800’s to present day.

The museum has galleries covering American and European art . There is also a small collection of Roman and Egyptian, and indigenous American art as well.  The two collections the gallery is most well know for are the photography and Asian Art. For today’s post I wanted to focus on the photography collection (pun not intended). Tomorrow, I will post about the photos of the Asian Art, as well as a few pictures of some of the other collection too.

I could spend an entire day just staring at all the photos.

This is a very small sample of the collection, but I want to just post the additional photos without any additional comments. Not because I have no thoughts on them. Just the opposite. It’s just that art like this, especially photography should be subjective,  So enjoy the sample . PS If you ever come to KC let me know, maybe we can go to the nelson together. I never tire of visiting there.kcph11kcph15kcph16kcph17kcph3kcph7kcph9kcph8

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