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KANSAS CITY CULTURE…

In the last post I wrote only an introduction to our time in Kansas City around the bell Convention. I want to share more…

I mentioned “my” lion at the Nelson-Atkins Museum which has continued to grow with vitality.

My cousin Kathy had mentioned sculptures on the south terrace when we were making plans by phone, but we were surprised, walking from a fortuitous street parking space, to confront these botanical wonders… replications made in resin by Philip Haas from 16th century paintings by Giuseppe Arcimboldo … a wonderfully playful garden at the top of the museum’s sculpture park where a badminton game has been lobbing sculptural shuttlecocks over the museum for some years.

I’ve long loved the older Beaux Arts building so was cautiously curious when I heard about the plans for a contemporary expansion…

But, I like the Steven Hull design & feel it brings new life to the tradition I love. I was happy to realize that my lion is standing guard, looking down from the top of the stairway into the underground entrance of the new addition…

  Afine transition from inside the classical space to resurface into the light-filled new.

While the web photo above illustrates how the luminous volume rests easily next to the original, I made the photos below showing how freely spacious is the result…

We’ve have visited many museums, many with new additions to their history & this is one we both celebrate heartily. One feels there is room to grow. The collection is fresh. ‘Seems a good marriage.

I caught him several times as we explored. We both were caught by a rather garish introduction to an Indian painter…

It too is transitory in that his richly Indian sensibility depicts a surreal scene of fantastic collapse from the Mahabharata in thick gold paint enhanced with rhinestones & glitter! It keeps growing on me!

Another Indian piece uses common steel objects to assemble one of our favorite forms.

We had hoped to revisit the museum on the day we had lunch with the Mitchell cousins, but again it was closed. We were to meet my cousins [our mothers being sisters…] Kathy & Mike, with his wife Mary Jane at the Kemper Museum for lunch. The disappointment was that Kathy was ill, so for the second time we missed seeing her. We used the time we had planned for the Nelson to explore a show in this handsomly intimate museum we’ve enjoyed on previous visits. It took awhile & some elucidating comments from the two women there we discovered were docents preparing notes about the work of Adam Cvijanovic. They are big. They are mounted flat on the wall. They are painted on Tyvec, the vapor barrier one sees in construction sites. In pieces… collages… remounted… with wheat paste… to be site specific… sometimes in different compositions!

 The view of an abandoned drive-in theater was nicely placed for consideration of times past He has a thing for the movies, as you will see…

 He plays with notions like the diorama of history in his studio…

 He made this image with my initials flying off an “anti-gravitational” movie marquee above the docents…

 See the G… R & B ?!?

Both museums have no admission fee… impressively noting Kansas City’s cultural richness.We look forward to being able to visit the new symphony building on future visits, but I wanted to see the new library, if for no other reason than the huge book spines on the parking garage…

 With details continuing the book theme…

 Inside it is repeated at the steps up into the children’s library… with our guide BroJon…

 A roof garden is a place movies are shown… like a new version of that painted drive-in… or one can play a game of chess overlooking the revitalized down-town.

I’ll write about a more somber landmark in the next post…