Trip Planner:   USA  /  Missouri  /  Kansas City  /  Museums  /  The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
(4.7/5 based on 2,000+ reviews on the web)
Renowned for the building's neoclassical architecture and impressive permanent collection of Asian art, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is beloved by Kansas City visitors and locals alike. The museum's Beaux Arts architecture style was inspired by the Cleveland Museum of Art and designed by architects Wight and Wight. A schoolteacher and art lover named Mary Atkins left money for the construction of this museum in 1911, and, though it was originally two separate galleries, the sites merged into one museum in 1983. While the museum is best known and celebrated for its extensive collection of Asian works, especially pieces from imperial China, it also boasts numerous American and European paintings, as well as photography and visiting exhibitions. This site hosts balls, speaker series, and other events year round. Using our international travel planner, Kansas City attractions like The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Did you know you could see one of only 28 casts of The Thinker by Rodan in KC? I did not and was very well pleased! The architecture, collection and especially the docents and staff are worth the trip...  more »
  • I finally returned to the Nelson with a new girlfriend. We had a great date walking through the many exhibits. She loves art too. We both marveled at the talent displayed by artists long since passed ...  more »
  • But don't have lunch in there. Lunch is offered as a cafeteria style, rewarmed dish, in my case pasta that was so cold the Parmesan sprinkled over the top never melted. Also even water is do it yourse...  more »
Google
  • In our old city, we waited for the once-a-month opportunity to go see the art museum for free, especially as young parents with kids who lacked the desire to look around for more than an hour. It felt like most art museums I've been to: an enclave for the local elite. That's why I love the idea of a free, public art museum as much as I support the idea of free, public, liberal-arts education. If you truly believe anyone can succeed and we're all equal, then access to the arts for the masses is part of that equation. Of course, with such an altruistic intent, the Nelson could easily have sub-standard art, but I have to say it stacks up nicely with many of the art museums I have visited. In my experience, free art museums tend to be dedicated to local artists who focus on local subject matter, college collections with very little buying power, or a wealthy collector/artist paying homage to oneself. This is a legitimate collection of art dedicated to all of us, and I have just convinced myself to go visit more often.
  • Possibly one of my favorite places in Kansas City. As a kid, my mother brought me to art classes here, which contributed very much to the way I see my surroundings and the world at large. Now as an adult, I find comfort in walking through the sculpture park and hallways, revisiting favorite art pieces. My wife, daughter, and I love attending the frequent events, celebrations, and special exhibits. It's always been a world-class museum to me.
  • GREAT destination. Admission is free, and it's the most well-rounded art museum in the Midwest by far. Plan for a full day--there's a lot to see! Excellent cafe food, gift shop, and outdoor scenery-- it's especially nice to sit outside in the garden and eat a packed lunch or a snack. My favorite thing about this place though is that they always have some of my favorite works on permanent display; yet, every time I visit, I'll still find new pieces to love! There is definitely something for everyone here. :)
  • Amazing (and FREE!) collection of priceless art of all types-ranging from ancient Egypt to classical & modern masterpieces by Picasso, Monet, Caravaggio, Van Gogh, and many more. Also features a fine lunch & Friday dinner in the Rozelle Court restaurant. Become a member for even more benefits... including free parking!
  • Excellent art museum. Beautiful building and gorgeous lawn and outdoor art space. They have a wonderful ancient art collection, including a real mummy. The Asian art collection is beautiful as well. They also have fantastic festivals, although they are very crowded.