Nelson-Atkins

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

In small, incremental steps, a crew from Belger Cartage Service, Inc., on Thursday carefully moved Gates of Paradise into the Bloch Building at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The two, 17-foot-tall bronze doors weigh 4 1/2 tons, and installation is expected to take about six weeks. 

Laura Spencer / KCUR 89.3

After months of stops and starts, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art now has the go ahead for the first phase of its master plan. On Thursday, the Kansas City City Council approved a zoning change for the museum's 29-acre property. 

Outdoor sculptures will take the place of the tennis courts of the former Rockhill Tennis Club along Rockhill Road. The clubhouse will be available for sale as a residence. The museum will expand offices, as needed, to the four historic houses it owns along 45th Street. 

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

The new Bloch Galleries at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art showcase European art from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. This includes masterpieces of Impressionism and post-Impressionism collected by Marion and Henry Bloch — artists such as Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, and Vincent van Gogh.

But visitors to the galleries might also be dazzled by some of the technological upgrades from sound to lighting. 

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is a much-loved institution in Kansas City. What many Midwesterners may not know, though, is that the Nelson also has a world-renowned reputation among artists and scholars of Asian art. With more than 7,000 works spanning 5,000 years, the museum boasts one of the most celebrated collections of Asian art in the West.

First, we look at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's latest plans for expansion that's raising a few questions with some of its neighbors.

Courtesy of Reynolda House Museum of American Art

Artist Thomas Hart Benton was a larger-than-life figure. A muralist who's well-known in Missouri, where he was born and lived the last three decades of his life — he's not as familiar as he once was outside the Kansas City area.

But that's starting to change. 

Julie Denesha / KCUR

This story was originally reported in July 2015. 

For two decades, Henry W. Bloch, co-founder of H&R Block, and his wife Marion, collected what they described as "pretty pictures" — mostly French Impressionist works by the likes of Degas, Matisse and Monet. Nearly 30 of these paintings filled the walls of their Mission Hills, Kansas, home.

Although these masterworks are not there now — you wouldn't know it by looking. 

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

When the Shuttlecocks, created by Claes Oldenburg and Coojse van Bruggen, were installed on the lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art 20 years ago they drew a lot of attention. Public feelings about the art were at times "vicious," says Marc Wilson, former director of the museum. Some felt the Shuttlecocks made a mockery of the stately building behind them and couldn't be considered art.

Rozzelle Court Fountain
Photo by Tomeka Weatherspoon

Curator Robert Cohen talks about the Roman fountain in the Rozzelle Court Restaurant at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Wikipedia Commons

The first World’s Fair was held in London in 1851. It's a tradition that continues today; Expo 2012 takes place May 12 - August 12 in South Korea.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

Major League Soccer has tried new ways in recent years to generate publicity for the SuperDraft – when college graduates and others are signed to the league. On January 11, the day before the SuperDraft took place in Kansas City, MLS prospects mixed it up...at a museum.

From the Ferris wheel to the ice cream cone, some pretty influential things have been unveiled at World's Fairs. For Kansas City, even an upcoming exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art featuring World's Fair fare is getting some local designers and  architects excited.

photos: Laura Spencer/KCUR

"Rodin: Sculptures from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation" displays 40 bronze sculptures in the Bloch Lobby of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Kansas City, Mo. – The exhibition, only the second to be installed in the lobby, is divided into three sections: figures related to the "Gates of Hell," a massive bronze portal; commissioned historical and cultural heroes; and a series of hands.

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.

Kansas City, MO – Looks like the University of Kansas may become home to the original typewritten rules of basketball. The game was invented by James Naismith in Massachusetts in 1892, six years before he became a KU professor and basketball coach.

Kansas City, MO – Two yellowed typewritten pages laying out the rules of one of the world's most popular sports will go on the Sotheby's auction block on December 10. The original 13 rules of basketball were written in 1892 by the Canadian-born physician, Presbyterian minister and physical education professor James Naismith.

For more than 500 years, African cultures have responded to European contact with a range of emotions - from admiration to resentment.

Kansas City, MO – An exhibition at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, "Through African Eyes," tells the story from the African point of view, through more than 90 artworks: bronze sculptures, photographs, wooden masks, paintings, and other objects made of ivory, metal and textiles. KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.

In honor of the 75th anniversary of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, more than 400 works of art have been promised or gifted to the museum. This includes seven pieces of African art.