Art Course Reopens at Nelson-Atkins March 19
New Hole Celebrates Negro Leagues Baseball
Kansas City, MO, March 5, 2021 –The popular art-themed miniature golf course that is nestled into the trees on the south lawn of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art will reopen March 19. For the safety of guests, the capacity of the outdoor experience will be reduced by 50% and enhanced sanitation will be added for shared equipment. The season will stretch from March 19 through Oct. 24.
Each of the nine holes features a work of art inside the museum, and this year, Art Course will introduce a new hole based on a favorite piece, Radcliffe Bailey’s Mound Magician in the museum’s contemporary galleries. The hole, designed by artist Sierra Swift and fabricated by Dimensional Innovations, pays tribute to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the 100th anniversary of the Kansas City Monarchs.
“When we opened Art Course in 2019, we were delighted that multigenerational families often played the course, then stepped inside the museum to find the original works of art,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell CEO & Director of the Nelson-A tkins. “It was a magical connection between a bit of fun in the park and a stroll through the galleries, with visitors on a hunt for specific masterpieces.”
Art Course made its debut in May 2019, a playful way to engage with the Nelson-Atkins collection and the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park. Nine hole designs were selected from 75 proposals from students, architects, designers, and others. This year, one of the holes will be replaced with an interpretation of Mound Magician, which represents a baseball diamond. At the center of the work is the number “25,” which belonged to Satchel Paige, the pitcher who led the Kansas City Monarchs to five Negro League pennants. Paige joined the major leagues and was the first player from the Negro Leagues to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The new hole is a gift from Bill and Christy Gautreaux in honor of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the 100th Anniversary of the Kansas City Monarchs. The museum, located in the 18th and Vine district, is the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African-American baseball and its impact on the social advancement of America.
“Mound Magician is a stunning and aptly named work of art in tribute to the legendary Leroy ‘Satchel’ Paige, arguably the greatest pitcher the game has seen,” said Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. “The style and creativity that made Negro Leagues baseball a fan favorite lends itself beautifully to artistic expression and is a wonderful tool to spark greater interest in this rich history.”
The new hole, “Eyy Putter Putter” was designed and fabricated by Dimensional Innovations, a Kansas City-based, award-winning design, technology, and build firm.
“This new Art Course hole has creativity, innovation and fun at its core,” said Tucker Trotter, Chief Executive Officer, Dimensional Innovations. “Teaming with the Nelson-Atkins, we were thrilled to pay homage to the Negro League and Radcliffe Bailey by merging baseball and miniature golf for a memorable experience at the museum’s revered Sculpture Park.”
Mound Magician was a gift in 2005 from the Unus Foundation and Marc and Elizabeth Wilson, in honor of John J. “Buck” O’Neil. In 2005, when the work was installed in contemporary galleries in the original Nelson-Atkins Building, Buck O’Neil and Satchel Paige’s daughter attended the dedication.
When Art Course opens to the general public March 19, the public can reserve tickets on the museum’s website, www.nelson-atkins.org/art-course. The cost is $16 per person, or $12 per person for members. Tickets include equipment to play. This spring, tee times will be available for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and the hours will match the museum’s. Starting May 23, Art Course will be open each day the museum is open: Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. After Sept. 7, Art Course will return to weekend hours, and it will close to the public on Oct. 24.
Radcliffe Bailey, American, b. 1968. Mound Magician, 1997. Mixed media. 115 x 168 x 26 inches. Purchase: gift of the Unus Foundation and Marc and Elizabeth Wilson in honor of John J. “Buck” O’Neil, 2005.18.
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, which strives to be the place where the power of art engages the spirit of community, opens its doors free of charge to people of all backgrounds. The museum is an institution that both challenges and comforts, that both inspires and soothes, and it is a destination for inspiration, reflection and connecting with others.
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. In 2017, the Nelson-Atkins celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Bloch Building, a critically acclaimed addition to the original 1933 Nelson-Atkins Building.
The Nelson-Atkins is located at 45th and Oak Streets, Kansas City, MO. Hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Friday through Monday; 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Thursday; closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Admission to the museum is free to everyone; timed tickets must be secured on the website. 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