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Nelson-Atkins’ Bloch Building Celebrates 10th Anniversary

The Jewish Chronicle
Written by Barbara Bayer, Editor
June 8, 2017
The magical Bloch Building, an award-winning architectural marvel designed by Steven Holl as an expansion of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, celebrates its 10th anniversary with a special exhibition, “An Iconic Addition,” that opened June 7. The Bloch Building represents an architectural accomplishment of international importance as well as a turning point in architect Holl’s career. Although the project received criticism during its planning and construction, in the 10 years since opening, the iconic addition has become a point of civic pride and has received critical raves. The New York Times called it “a work of haunting power.” TIME Magazine proclaimed, “The effect against the nighttime sky is nothing short of magical.” The Bloch Building has become emblematic of Kansas City’s rising prominence in design and the fine and performing arts.

“The magnificent Bloch Building is a physical representation of the forward-thinking and inspirational leaders who made up the search and selection committees for an architect, then made Holl’s vision a reality,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell CEO & Director of the Nelson-Atkins. “Without the stewardship of board leaders Henry Bloch, Adele and Donald J. Hall and Estelle and Morton Sosland, and Director Marc Wilson, this building would never have been built. They combined efforts to bring this project to fruition, and it is a symbol of their vision and tenacity.”

The Bloch Lobby exhibition celebrating the 10th anniversary highlights the contributions and leadership of steering committee members Henry W. Bloch, Don and Adele Hall, and Morton and Estelle Sosland, and features reproduced archival material including architects’ sketches, materials documenting reactions, both critical and supportive, as well as video interviews with Holl. The exhibition is curated by Sarah Biggerstaff.

The Bloch Lobby exhibition closes Jan. 14, 2018.