Kansas City Sculpture Park

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has unveiled plans for a bold expansion. The museum is talking about greater green spaces, walkways, and more sculptures as part of a gleaming cultural district. The new district would extend a mile in every direction from Oak Street and Emanuel Cleaver Boulevard. It’s a huge statement that could carry some pain as pieces of nearby historic neighborhoods would vanish to make way for this new vision.

Mark McDonald / Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Kansas City Sculpture Park, the more than two dozen sculptures outside the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, opened in 1989. In honor of the park’s 25th anniversary in 2014, the museum will change the park’s name to reflect its roots.

photo: Laura Spencer/KCUR

Acquiring new art for a museum's permanent collection can be a complex, and sometimes political process. When the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art found out they'd be able to keep three of New York-based artist Roxy Paine's Scumak sculptures, they decided to open up the decision to the public.

Kansas City, Mo. – Acquiring new art for a museum's permanent collection can be a complex, and sometimes political process.

photo: Laura Spencer/KCUR

The elaborately crafted Roxy Paine sculpture called Ferment resembles a 56-foot tall stainless steel tree. It's a new addition to the sculpture park at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. KCUR's Laura Spencer takes a look at the New York-based artist's connections to Kansas City and the two-week installation process.