- Native American Cultural Celebration Performance
- Here and Queer
- Tux & Tiny Tails
- Art Moments with Julían
- Andy Goldsworthy
Take a “look” at entertaining and informative images and videos about a variety of topics, including celebrations of Native American and LGBTQIA+ cultures, Art Moments with Julián and when KC Zoo penguins came to visit. Check back for new content, and view the full range of images and videos, including presentations, exhibitions, performances, tours, and so much more, all produced by the Nelson-Atkins and available on our YouTube channel linked below.
Native American Cultural Celebration Performance
This video features dances by the Haskell Indian Nations University Dancers. More than 150 Native cultures are represented at this University. Hear drumming and singing by The Young Buffalo Horse Singers, a group composed of members from many different tribes from all over the United States.
Next, watch Joseph Tessay and The Cibecue Apache Crown Dancers from Cibecue, Arizona located within the boundaries of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. They travel throughout the States performing traditional Apache dances, powerful rituals that are still used in tribal ceremonies.
Here and Queer
There is power in celebrating our authentic selves. There is power in honoring gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientations, and who and how we love. There is power in seeing ourselves reflected in LGBTQIA+ culture and knowing we are seen and valued.
To shine a light on contributions of LGBTQIA+ people, explore the nine artworks below. Discover additional voices of staff and local organizations dedicated to making the world a safer, better place for LGBTQIA+ communities highlighted on our social media.
Zodwa II, Amsterdam
“The work that I produce is meant to be for every person. It could be for a teacher, a mother whose child is queer and want to have a reference point to show to their kids and say that you are not alone, and it could be for the LGBTI people themselves to understand their worthiness.”
— Zanele Muholi
Guanyin of the Southern Sea
Guanyin is a Buddhist deity who offers protection. In the Lotus Sutra, Guanyin has 33 forms, including both female and male. In China, Guanyin’s forms are particularly boundless as the deity promises salvation regardless of the person’s upbringing or beliefs. This form, Guanyin of the Southern Sea, embodies Guanyin’s transformation of genders.
Claude Cahun wrote, “neuter is the only gender that always suits me,” and their words speak intimately to my nonbinary experience. Here, their heavy makeup, dramatic cape and wig, and, of course, the masks, point to an understanding of gender as performance. Cahun’s confrontational pose suggests that the viewer can think what they please. Cahun isn’t asking for anyone’s approval.
— Charles-Elizabeth Boyles, Exterior Visitor Services Officer
Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness
“During and after his lifetime, critics have argued that Caravaggio had sexual and romantic relationships with other men, to slander or claim him. For me, his intense naturalism presents the male body in ways that artists traditionally used for male viewers looking at female subjects. Because his works and life resist “either/or” oppositions, I find him continually compelling today.”
— William Rudolph, Deputy Director, Curatorial Affairs
“I am in Love with the deep survival, elastic resilience and ordinary, creative, genius of Black People. For the ways that we make ourselves bright against the slaughter of our own names—acts of ordinary, restorative, creative insistence.”
“I’m Black in America and I’m a woman in America and I’m queer in America which is a land of great promise and enormous, catastrophic, unreckoned with stories.”
— Vanessa German
Although how Florine Stettheimer chose to identify remains in question, many members of the LGBTQIA+ community consider the artist and poet “family.” An unmarried, independent “New Woman” who painted for her own pleasure while wearing white satin pants, Stettheimer embraced gender fluidity in her art and life. Birthday Bouquet is one of her annual exuberant celebrations of self.
“Painting is about the world that we live in. Black men live in the world. My choice is to include them. This is my way of saying yes to us.”
— Kehinde Wiley
White Flower II
Agnes Martin is renowned for her large, highly controlled abstract paintings often composed of grids or parallel lines such as White Flower II. Far less associated with her than her signature minimalist approach was the fact that she was also a lesbian, although she refused that term and was fiercely private regarding her personal life.
Carl Van Vechten and Gertrude Stein at the Poe Shrine in Richmond
Carl Van Vechten and Gertrude Stein were major LGBTQ artists. Stein was an influential modernist writer, celebrated for her radical approach to literary form. Van Vechten was a critic, novelist, and photographer, renowned for his wry and incisive perspective on contemporary life. Van Vechten met Stein in 1913 and the two became lifelong friends, captured here in this photograph.
Tux & Tiny Tails
The COVID-19 pandemic caused everyone to go a little stir crazy, even residents of the Kansas City Zoo. Watch the video below about several penguins who took a field trip to the Nelson-Akins. They seemed to pick their own favorite works of art in our collection!