Nelson Atkins - Moving Forward

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Nelson Atkins - Moving Forward

Post by Midtownkid » Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:36 pm

So it's been a few years since the Bloch Building opened.  It still wows me every time I visit!  It seems the museum is not going to just rest on that triumph, more to come!

"On the acquisitions front, Marion and Henry Bloch made it official that they will be giving their Impressionist collection to the Nelson. And thanks to the Hall Family Foundation, the museum has commissioned a 60-foot-tall stainless-steel tree from New York sculptor Roxy Paine for the sculpture park."

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/12/25/25 ... z1A6nlrQDT  

That sounds very impressive.  They have one here in DC, but it is 30 feet tall at the most.  60 feet tall!!?  That is really going to make an impact on the lawn.  Can't wait!

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Last edited by Midtownkid on Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nelson Atkins - Moving Forward

Post by trailerkid » Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:58 pm

^^^ that's funny! Art History Prof Cateforis @ KU suggested the Nelson add a Roxy Paine tree in class one day.

This is going to be an awesome addition considering the Nelson environs.

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Re: Nelson Atkins - Moving Forward

Post by Highlander » Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:20 pm

Midtownkid wrote: So it's been a few years since the Bloch Building opened.  It still wows me every time I visit!  ItImage
That's good news.  I was just at the Nelson and the Bloch Building is just spectacular (it was my third trip since it opened), among the finest museum venues I've ever seen and I've seen many.  I spend as much time enjoying and trying to come to grips with the building as I do looking at the exhibitions. 

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Re: Nelson Atkins - Moving Forward

Post by IraGlacialis » Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:49 am

That's just like what is at the St. Louis Art Museum (same artist). Awesome news.
They really need to open up the third floor and reinstate the Mesoamerican artifacts (there needs to be a curator for that first). Some Polynesian, Islamic (from Al-Andalus, to Istanbul, Cairo, Isfahan, Samarkand, and Agra), and expanded SE Asian (Balinese, Malay, Vietnamese, Rattanakosin) art, plus more eastern arms and armor would be great as well.

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Re: Nelson Atkins - Moving Forward

Post by rxlexi » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:50 am

 yeah, when I read that article in the paper on Sunday the first thing I thought of was the Paine tree at StL Art Museum (which is also being given an elegant expansion, btw, though it's a much less ambitious design than the Bloch Building).

 I have a couple of thoughts - I think the tree/sculpture will be a nice addition to the grounds, and I do continue to absolutely love the Bloch building, in/out/on top.  However, I really wish the Nelson would get more ambitious about the interaction between their own grounds and the surroundings (Theis Park/Plaza/Rockhill) and the promotion of the institution as a community "center".  

 I would love to see the sad, mostly unused expanse of Theis Park used to expand the sculpture park in some way, or see a large sculptural form installed in the median at 47th that is very visibile from the Plaza.  

 Second, and most importantly, I'd love to see the Nelson find a way to promote the building and especially grounds as a more popular public space.  As I live very close, I am over there every few days (often every day in the summer), and I'm always amazed at what a fantastic and suprisingly sparingly used public space it is, particularly the always empty north plaza.  Sure, there are some joggers and the odd group of students in warmer weather.  

 But, I'd love to see the north side especially turned into a true "hangout" - cafe, lots of modern seating and tables, etc a la Museumsquartier in Vienna.  The space is really perfect for such a thing on a small scale, and the museum is ideally located to be a great date spot or general hangout for students at UMKC, KCAI, etc.  I've mentioned this to Nelson folks and they seem receptive to these ideas, at least in theory.  Still, the Nelson remains one of the regions true gems, and rightfully so.  I am excited for the new director as well, and can't wait to see what some new blood can do for the place.
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Re: Nelson Atkins - Moving Forward

Post by KCMax » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:39 am

Very cool! I can't wait until Kansas Citians bitch about it! ;)

My sister brought her bf from DC to KC over the holidays. I sent them to the Nelson and he was pretty blown away (his amazement was only slightly trumped by the Z-Man at Oklahoma Joe's which he dubbed 'the best sandwich I have ever had.').
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Re: Nelson Atkins - Moving Forward

Post by teleology » Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:11 pm

rxlexi wrote:  But, I'd love to see the north side especially turned into a true "hangout" - cafe, lots of modern seating and tables, etc a la Museumsquartier in Vienna.  The space is really perfect for such a thing on a small scale, and the museum is ideally located to be a great date spot or general hangout for students at UMKC, KCAI, etc.  I've mentioned this to Nelson folks and they seem receptive to these ideas, at least in theory.  Still, the Nelson remains one of the regions true gems, and rightfully so.  I am excited for the new director as well, and can't wait to see what some new blood can do for the place.
i worked at the museum through the opening of the bloch building and for about a year and a half afterwards, and i am still incredibly frustrated with the poor vision, mismanagement, and eventual closing of that cafe space at the north end of lens 1.  rather than creating a true cafe or coffee shop, they really just sold to-go version of similar items available in rozzelle court.  the food was too convoluted and overpriced for the quick cup of coffee & a snack crowd one would assume they'd want to cater to, but anyone wanting to pay that much and have a proper lunch was going to opt for the ambience of rozzelle court.  i live just a few blocks from the museum, and still wish i could just walk up the street and hang out in the cafe with a good cup of tea during the day while reading a book.  sadly, that space is only used for occasional events and happy hours now.  it's a shame.

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Re: Nelson Atkins - Moving Forward

Post by Midtownkid » Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:40 pm

I totally agree.  That is a great space...and it DOES have outdoor patio seating!  Come on, I'd even be happy if a Starbucks just operated that space (without any interior decoration changes.)  A local cafe/coffeeshop would be ideal though
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Re: Nelson Atkins - Moving Forward

Post by IraGlacialis » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:51 am

I concur about the north side as a outdoor hangout, with a locally-run cafe established there. Especially due to the proximity of students.
If an outdoor cafe space is made, it would be even better to add some spice by giving local people (namely students and the like) the opportunity and space to perform there as long as they schedule in advance to allow for approval (glam rock is not something that will likely fit due to disruption) and so one person/group doesn't end up monopolizing the spot. Varied performances could occur daily, and it could be a "bring our own equipment" type thing so that there will be little-to-no cost (other than logistics) in hosting the program.

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Re: Nelson Atkins - Moving Forward

Post by KC-wildcat » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:23 am

Nelson continues to exceed expectations.  kudos. 


I just wish Downtown had a highly visible public space with an iconic piece of art, such as this.  Perhaps the South lawn of the PAC.  Idunno.  It seems like downtown - especially the CBD - is generally missing artistic influence. 

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Re: Nelson Atkins - Moving Forward

Post by mudjack » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:33 am

I think the PAC IS the iconic piece of art. I doubt they would put anything in front of it to distract from the building itself.

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Re: Nelson Atkins - Moving Forward

Post by KC-wildcat » Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:46 am

mudjack wrote: I think the PAC IS the iconic piece of art. I doubt they would put anything in front of it to distract from the building itself.
The Bloch addition at Nelson is an iconic building.  And this 60 foot sculpture is going right in front of it. 

Anyway, I was just using the PAC lawn as an example.  Most other metropolitan Cities I've been to are littered with art and sculptures throughout their CBD.  Wish we had the same thing in KCMO. 

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Re: Nelson Atkins - Moving Forward

Post by mlind » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:29 pm

I think the more public art the better, but it's sometimes controversial (everybody's a critic).  The Vaillancourt Fountain was installed in San Francisco in the early 1970's to loud complaints.  It was described as looking like poop from a dog with square intestines.  The last time I was there, the water had been turned off and it was popular with skateboarders. 

Also, in new construction, things like public art, benches, etc. are often line items in the budget that get deleted to save money.

Just think of all the public spaces in Europe - we need more of that here.

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Re: Nelson Atkins - Moving Forward

Post by chrizow » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:34 pm

mlind wrote: poop from a dog with square intestines.
:lol:

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Re: Nelson Atkins - Moving Forward

Post by shinatoo » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:06 pm

The Shuttlecocks were roundly criticized when they first when, now I think it would be political suicide to even suggest removing them. People don't like change, it makes them uncomfortable. I am befuddled why the art community is caught off guard by that kind reaction from the general population when that is their intent in the first place. Why would any artist think "I'm going to do something weird and different to really push the envelope...and everyone is going to LOVE IT!" Make no sense. 
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Re: Nelson Atkins - Moving Forward

Post by mlind » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:47 pm

The Eiffel Tower was considered ugly when it was built.

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Re: Nelson Atkins - Moving Forward

Post by chingon » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:43 pm

They were right.

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Re: Nelson Atkins - Moving Forward

Post by DaveKCMO » Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:36 pm

It's very pretty now that it sparkles.

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Re: Nelson Atkins - Moving Forward

Post by bobbyhawks » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:21 pm

Heard this one via the Twitterverse...  Travel & Leisure just named the Bloch building of the Nelson-Atkins Museum one of the most beautiful buildings in the world:

http://www.travelandleisure.com/article ... ildings/11

Nice to see that it isn't all just the instant popularity, and that it is still viewed favorably on a national scale a few years after the opening.

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Re: Nelson Atkins - Moving Forward

Post by ignatius » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:28 pm

It's just too bad the museum is typically closed when the buildings shine.  They still look like butler buildings during the day.

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