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Nelson-Atkins Monet Painting Sold at Auction


Acquisition Endowment Created with Proceeds

CLAUDE MONET - Moulin de LimetzKansas City, MO. May 21, 2024– The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City announced that the Claude Monet painting Mill at Limetz, 1888, was sold at auction at Christie’s in New York May 16 for $21,685,000. The painting was a partial gift to the museum in 1986 by Ethel B. Atha, and the decision to sell the painting was made following the death in September 2023 of her daughter, Ethelyn Atha Chase, who held a life interest in part of the painting. Director & CEO of the Nelson-Atkins, Julián Zugazagoitia, traveled to New York with a small group of Trustees to witness the auction.

“The auction was a thrilling experience,” said Evelyn Craft Belger, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “This newly created endowment will provide funds for future acquisitions to add depth and diversity to the museum’s galleries for generations to come.”

There was global interest in the painting, which had multiple bidders. The buyer remains anonymous. Ahead of the sale, the painting toured the world to be shown to prospective buyers in Hong Kong, Taipei, London, and Paris, among other cities.

“We are very pleased this beautiful painting has found a new home,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Director & CEO of the Nelson-Atkins. “The newly created Joseph S. and Ethel B. Atha Art Acquisition Endowment will allow us to acquire art that will impact many future generations.”

Mill at Limetz is one of only two paintings the artist realized in the summer of 1888 that feature this view of the grain mill at Limetz on the River Epte, about a mile away from the artist’s Giverny home. Its counterpart was sold recently at auction this past fall.

The Nelson-Atkins continues to possess strong holdings in Monet that span the artist’s career. His landmark 1873/1874 composition, Boulevard des Capucines, signals the birth of Impressionism, while his enormously popular Water Lilies, ca. 1915-1926, reveals the triumphant culmination of his artistic vision. The museum also owns two lyrical snowscapes, both realized in 1875. In addition, a local Kansas City collector is now lending Monet’s serene and beautiful Church at Vétheuil, from 1881, ensuring that the artist’s 1880s works will continue to be available for viewers.

Image caption: Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926). Mill at Limetz, 1888. Oil on canvas, 36 3/4 × 29 inches (93.4 × 73.7 cm).

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City is recognized nationally and internationally as one of America’s finest art museums. The museum opens its doors free of charge to people of all backgrounds.

The Nelson-Atkins serves the community by providing access to its renowned collection of more than 42,000 art objects and is best known for its Asian art, European and American paintings, photography, modern sculpture, and Native American and Egyptian galleries. Housing a major art research library and the Ford Learning Center, the museum is a key educational resource for the region.

The Nelson-Atkins is located at 45th and Oak Streets, Kansas City, MO. Hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Admission to the museum is free to everyone. For museum information, phone 816.751.1ART (1278) or visit nelson-atkins.org.

For media interested in receiving further information, please contact:

Kathleen Leighton, Manager, Media Relations and Video Production
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art