Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
4525 Oak Street Kansas City, MO 64111
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KANSAS CITY, MO, (kansascityfrontpage.com) - The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City has completed renovation on four of its Chinese galleries.
The main Chinese gallery and the Temple Room re-opened in 2010 and involved a complete re-organization of displays, along with the addition of a number of important pieces that have been off display for decades, including a 6th-century stone tomb gateway and three-color-glazed Tang dynasty tomb figures. Lighting has been added to the coffered ceiling in the Temple Room, where Guanyin of the Southern Seas majestically sits, so visitors can now see the intricately carved dragon pattern in the concentric gilded wood framework.
Linked to the main Chinese galleries are two newly renovated galleries that explore the mysterious world of ritual and ancestors in ancient China, as well as tombs. Tombs were repositories for valuables such as jade carvings, lacquered vessels and ceramic sculptures.
"Luxury items were commonly placed in tombs in ancient China," said Colin Mackenzie, senior curator of Chinese art. "Limitations of space forced us to choose only items of the highest quality, so we were very selective as we looked through our early Chinese art collection, which is extensive."
"I have admired these objects from afar for most of my life," said Mackenzie. "Now I have the honor of examining and truly appreciating their exceptional artistic qualities. It has been a great privilege to work on this renovation." There are also ceremonial weapons in jade and bronze, as well as an axe that was used for decapitating prisoners. Many of the objects in the renovated galleries are included in widely published standard books on Chinese art.
In addition to the opening of the new galleries, the museum is celebrating completion of a richly illustrated catalogue of 27 works of art from the collection: Masterworks of Chinese Art: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The book highlights masterpieces from the museum's world-renowned collection of more than 8,000 works. The catalogue is authored by Mackenzie, with contributions by Ling-en Lu, assistant curator of Chinese art. Masterworks of Chinese Art is available in the Museum Store for $29.95.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City is recognized nationally and internationally as one of the nation's finest encyclopedic art museums. The Nelson-Atkins serves the community by providing access and insight into its renowned collection of more than 34,500 art objects, and is best known for its Asian art, European paintings and modern sculpture.
On November 4, 2005, the Nelson-Atkins unveiled its new Adelaide Cobb Ward Sculpture Hall. The Sculpture Hall connects the two buildings and represents the crossroads at the heart of the reconfigured Museum. Adjacent to Kirkwood Hall, the entryway of the original Nelson-Atkins Building, the Sculpture Hall now forms a central gallery connecting the older facility to the new main lobby in the Bloch Building.
Renovations to the 72-year-old Nelson-Atkins building are also a major component of the campus project. The Sculpture Hall is the first of comprehensive changes to the gallery spaces to open, while the exterior cleaning has renewed the splendor of the 1933 façade. The Ford Learning Center, a major education initiative which revamped the first floor of the Nelson-Atkins Building to serve as a teaching space and resource for educators and students throughout the region, opened in September 2005.
This space provides a pivotal juncture for visitors traveling between the Bloch and Nelson-Atkins buildings. It also serves as a striking environment in which to highlight three of the Museum's most significant monumental sculptures: Adam (1880) by Auguste Rodin, Atlanta and Meleager with the Cayldonian Boar (1564) by Francesco Mosca, and Lion, a 4th century marble sculpture from Attica.
The new Bloch Building, named in honor of Henry W. Bloch, Chairman of The Nelson-Atkins Board of Trustees, and his wife Marion, is the centerpiece of the campus transformation. The Bloch Building opened June 7, 2007 with a major exhibition, "Monet to Maatisse", Impressionsist Masters from the Marion and Henry Bloch Collection.
The slender, elongated extension runs 840 feet along the edge of the Museum's Sculpture Park and provides a delicate counterpoint to the Beaux-Arts Nelson-Atkins. The Bloch Building is a significant work of contemporary architecture, weaving through the landscape with partially submerged galleries and elevated glass lenses rising from the lawn.
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