Arts & Culture
2:41 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Nelson Responds To The Onion, 12 Picassos In Collection

A photograph of Pablo Picasso, taken in 1957 by David Douglas Duncan. In 2013, Duncan donated 161 inkjet prints of Picasso to the museum.
A photograph of Pablo Picasso, taken in 1957 by David Douglas Duncan. In 2013, Duncan donated 161 inkjet prints of Picasso to the museum.
Credit Courtesy Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art / Gift of the artist

The parody news site, The Onion, targeted the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo., last week in a story with this headline: "Museum Proudly Exhibits Picasso Shitty Enough To Be In Kansas City."

The article poked fun at the museum and its fictional acquisition of a Picasso pencil sketch, a "forgettable piece-of-shit doodle" filling up an entire wall. 

The Nelson-Atkins, an encyclopedic museum with nearly 34,000 works of art in its collection, does own a Picasso — actually 12 of them — but no pencil sketches. There are prints, paintings, a collage and a vase depicting female nudes.

According to museum staffers, only one Picasso is currently on view. The 1946 work, Bust of a Faun (Buste de Faune) is on loan from Shelly Cryer and Michael Stern, the music director of the Kansas City Symphony. 

"To be called out by The Onion indicates that the Nelson-Atkins is on the national radar," said director and CEO Julián Zugazagoitia. "Here in Kansas City, we know how to take a ribbing, even one that is not BBQ related."