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. Make The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art a centerpiece of your Kansas City vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Kansas City tour itinerary planning tool .
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Reviews
Judging from the outside you wouldn't think this museum had much to offer but we were very pleasantly surprised. There were three stories packed full of art from all over the world. My personal favori... more »
My husband and I are relatively new to the Kansas City area and this was one of our first outings. We have since been back a second time and are planning our third visit. I am a little bit of an art n... more »
I was very impressed by this free, donation only museum. It has an extensive collection which would take multiple days to fully absorb. Particularly good was the Asian wing that included a small Buddhist temple and a massive Buddha. we visited in the winter but I can imagine how the expanse of open area would be a great place to have a picnic or just enjoy a beautiful day. The restaurant inside the museum is quite good and the prices are very reasonable.
Free family fun. I have three children under the age of 8, and each one of them really enjoyed the museum. There are activities to do, such as a scavenger hunt and crafting tables, not to mention all the art work that surrounds you with beauty while you walk around. My sister fell while here, and the staff was amazing. First aid was given and they were very through.
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