The stately Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is located in Kansas City, MO. built in 1930. It is one of many monumental museums around the country constructed in the 20th century. Successful and ambitious business men considered ways to give back to their community and to leave a legacy. Dale Carnegie, of the Pittsburgh area, was one of the first and most wealthy Philantropists of this kind.
Here's a short piece about the Nelson-Atkins founders.
They have a medieval section called "The Cloisters". The architectural design in this section recalls the exterior, columned pathways of early monasteries. The statuary from yesterday's blog have found homes here.
The museum is situated on expansive grounds with a selection of contemporary art installations like the one on your left. The front courtyard of the museum has a large reflection pool and the parking garage is located directly below this area. Circular skylights, creating a ripple of light, look up into the pool area from this underground garage.
The neighborhood in one direction looks to be thriving with upscale restaurants and shopping while in the opposite direction there are boarded up buildings and a sense of general poverty.
Traveling to various museums around the country, i have found this to be a pattern. As wealthy citizens moved out of the cities or passed away and as styles changes, the interest in maintaining these neighborhoods plummeted. Surrounding "grand" old structures, such as mansions and business buildings often remained "untouched" in times of economic downturn.
It is good to note that in many parts of the USA, you will find an economic renaissance occurring in these old neighborhoods. A new generation looks at the quality and design features of these buildings and the potential for community. They realize that much of the detail can no longer be easily duplicated today so they are seeking to restore the ones they can or to transform them into usable public or private space, keeping just the exterior shells.
Virgin and Child sculptures from this museum.
Recent Photo of the Cloisters area at this museum.
Notes, Art, Photography CMJENTZ ©2013-2018
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