The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
About The Nelson-Atkins

Director's Welcome

Julián Zugazagoitia

Welcome! I am delighted you are visiting our website, and I look forward to seeing you in our galleries at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

The museum’s history is rich and the collection is deep, so I urge you to visit often. You will discover true originals, mankind’s greatest achievements, from ancient to contemporary works of art. You will also feel the power of community, as we celebrate diverse cultures and mark important days with festivals, dancing, talks, tours and classes.

Discover the museum at your own pace, by yourself or with family and friends. Make it your museum!

¡Saludos!
Julián Zugazagoitia

Museum Strategic Plan2020/2019 Audited Financial Statements


Mission

Where the power of art engages the spirit of community

We welcome and provide free admission to all, and deliver unparalleled opportunities to enjoy, appreciate and understand the finest visual arts and the varied cultures they represent—on our campus, online, and throughout Kansas City.

As an institution of national and international renown, we establish and adhere to the highest professional standards and practices in research, scholarship, presentation, interpretation and care of our collections.

We serve as a vital partner in the educational, social and cultural life of our community, using our collections and programs to build an environment where people can gather, share and contemplate the greatest creations of humankind.

Every day, in all we do, the Nelson-Atkins is committed to nurturing excellence, inspiring creativity and building community through the power of art.

Three Bowls by Ursula von RYDINGSVARD


History

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art arose from the instincts and ambitions of two private individuals who shared the dream of providing a public art museum for Kansas City and the surrounding region.

William Rockhill Nelson, founder of The Kansas City Star, was convinced that for a city to be truly civilized, art and culture were necessities.

When he died in 1915, the bulk of his estate was used to establish the William Rockhill Nelson Trust for the purchase of works of art.

Kansas City school teacher Mary McAfee Atkins had similar aspirations. She provided the city with approximately one-third of her million-dollar estate to purchase the land for a public art museum.

 

The Nelson estate was combined with Mary Atkins’ legacy to build an art museum for the people of Kansas City. The William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art and the Mary Atkins Museum of Fine Arts opened to the public Dec. 11, 1933.

On June 9, 2007, the Nelson-Atkins unveiled the Bloch Building, an addition designed by Steven Holl Architects, which increased gallery and storage space for the growing collection.

Today, the Nelson-Atkins maintains collections of more than 35,000 works of art and welcomes 500,000 visitors a year.

 


Land Acknowledgment

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is revisiting our Land Acknowledgment to create an inclusive, collaborative, and accurate statement that honors the Native American communities that are connected to the land around the museum.

A multi-Tribal group of dancers from Haskell Indian Nations University and Veterans Color Guard assemble at the fourth annual Native American Cultural Celebration at the Nelson-Atkins in 2019.


Trustees and Staff

Board of Trustees
Richard C. Green, Chair
William B. Taylor, Treasurer
Neil D. Karbank, Secretary

Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado
Ann Kaufmann Baum
Evelyn Craft Belger
Thomas M. Bloch
Grant Burcham
Valerie E. Chow, M.D
Paul DeBruce
Bill Gautreaux
Donald Hall, Jr.
Shirley Bush Helzberg
William M. Lyons
Greg Maday
Sara S. Morgan
Leo Morton
Ramón Murguía
Mark O’Connell
Kent Sunderland

Henry W. Bloch*, Chair Emeritus
Donald J. Hall, Chair Emeritus
Sarah F. Rowland, Chair Emerita
Estelle Sosland, Chair Emerita

Honorary Trustees
G. Kenneth Baum
Menefee D. Blackwell*
Thornton Cooke II*
Charles A. Duboc*
Laura Kemper Fields*
Cliff C. Jones, Jr.*
Herbert Jones*
Alan R. Marsh
Fred L. Merrill*
Harry C. McCray, Jr.*
Milton McGreevy*
J.C. Nichols*
James P. Sunderland*
Herman R. Sutherland*
William Volker*
Adelaide Cobb Ward

* Deceased

Museum Leadership
Julián Zugazagoitia
Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell Director & CEO

Karen L. Christiansen
Chief Operating Officer

Tammy Bluhm
Vice President, Finance

Casey Claps
Manager, Strategic Initiatives

Anne Manning
Deputy Director, Education and Interpretive

Hathaway Maranda
Vice President, Development

William Keyse Rudolph
Deputy Director, Curatorial Affairs

Mandy Stone
Vice President, Earned Income & Guest Services

Kelly Summers
Vice President, Human Resources

Steven Waterman
Deputy Director, Design & Experience

Toni Wood
Vice President, Marketing & Communications

 


Curatorial Staff

Stephanie Knappe, Ph.D.
Samuel Sosland Curator, American Art

Ling-en Lu, Ph.D.
Associate Curator, Chinese Art

MacKenzie Mallon
Specialist, Provenance

Aimee Marcereau DeGalan, Ph.D
Louis L. and Adelaide C. Ward Senior Curator, European Arts

Kimberly Masteller
Jeanne McCray Beals Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art

William Keyse Rudolph
Deputy Director, Curatorial Affairs

April Watson, Ph.D.
Curator, Photography