I’ve been to a lot of museums. Every city I visit includes a trip to the local art museum(s). Besides the fact that museums are often free (a definite plus for a budget traveler like myself), I really enjoy the peace and quiet you find there. And of course, I love looking at the art.
So it’s no surprise that on my most recent trip to Kansas City, Missouri, I spent an afternoon at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. I missed out on this museum last time around because it’s closed on Mondays & Tuesdays. But I made time for it on my last day in KC, just before driving back to St. Louis.
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City is quite possibly one of the best art museums in the USA. It’s definitely the best art museum that I’ve personally been to.
Obviously the Nelson-Atkins is filled with great art from a range of periods, styles, and artists. What makes this museums so great, in my opinion, is the way the curators chose to present these works of art.
Every room I walked into felt like a doorway into another part of the world; another time period. Asian art is displayed in rooms that feel like ancient temples. European art is displayed against bold red walls with gilded frames. A traditional French Cloister fills up a whole room. Even the “courtyard” restaurant makes you feel like you’ve been transported to Italy.
I’m really into architecture, so the whole Nelson-Atkins museum made me stop quite a few times. I found myself standing and spinning in one spot as I looked around, thinking, simply, “wow”. Kirkwood Hall, the main entry hall off the plaza, is the most wow-inducing room. I walked through it so many times, because I just couldn’t get over the feeling I had being in such a BIG room.
Inside the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art isn’t the end of it. Outside, a huge green space surrounds the museum, with walking trails and a sculpture park. I didn’t have time to explore outside, unfortunately, but I know I’ll be visiting this beautiful museum again when I have a bit more time.
Address: 4525 Oak Street, Kansas City, Missouri
Hours: Closed Mon-Tue; 10 am to 5 pm Wed, Sat, Sun; 10 am to 9 pm Thurs-Fri
Parking: $10 in garage or free street parking nearby
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