The annual series honors Mary McAfee Atkins, a Kentucky schoolteacher who married a Kansas City businessman. After developing a deep appreciation for the arts in her later years, Atkins bequeathed her estate for the establishment of an art museum. The Nelson-Atkins resulted from the combined generosity of Mary Atkins and William Rockhill Nelson.
This is the 17th season of the Mary Atkins Series.
2 0 1 4 S e a s o n
6 p.m. Thursday, October 23
Envisioning a Cultural District
Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art welcomes Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi as featured speakers of the 2014 Mary Atkins Lecture Series.
The two are principals in the urban design firm Weiss/Manfredi, a New York-based firm that recently completed a study for a Kansas City cultural district. They are known in the art and design world for their work on the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle, transforming jagged strips of land into a connected and pedestrian-friendly space uniting art, architecture and nature.
In 2013, the firm won an international competition to design a new College of Architecture and Environmental Design for Kent State University in Ohio. Recently, the firm celebrated the opening of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center, with a new glass building and environmentally sustainable features.
Another recent project is the award-winning Hunter's Point South Waterfront Park, located on the East River in Queens, New York. Surrounded by water on three sides, the integrated park design weaves together infrastructure, landscape, and architecture into a model of urban ecology and a resilient, multi-layered cultural destination.