In Part I, we covered the extensive photography collection. Now we explore the Asian, Egyptian, Native American, East Asian and impressionist Galleries. 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 Asian galleries include Art from China, Japan, and India. Highlights include replicas of Hindu, Jainist and Buddhist temples and some fabulous calligraphy collections.
Egyptian, Roman and near eastern Collections
While not as extensive as the Asian Art collection, the museum does exceptional work at representing all the diverse work of these regions.
The Impressionist Works
In addition to Art, the Gallery hosts many cultural events including The Chinese New Year, Passport to India Festival, The Native American Pow Wow and The Day of the Dead celebration as well as concerts and Film Series throughout the year. No visit to Kansas City should miss this gem. The Nelson-Atkins is one of America’s finest Museums.