Origins: Collecting to Create the Nelson-Atkins
Exhibition Resources

Put yourself in a curator’s shoes and build a collection or learn more about the museum’s early history and collection with these tools for educators, researchers, and curious visitors.

Curate Your Own Exhibition Card Game: Origins Edition

Want to try your hand at curating a collection? Download this printable card pack featuring works from Origins and other art at the Nelson-Atkins. Then decide: Which works will you collect? How will you exhibit your art?

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Research Guide

Explore books and other publications about the collection and early history of the museum through this Research Guide. Visit the Spencer Art Reference Library in the Bloch Building to browse a display of titles.

See the Guide

Teacher Resource Guide

Teachers, use this guide to engage your students with the concepts and questions explored in Origins. Students can build critical thinking skills while considering the decisions that go into starting and running a museum.

Download Guide

Late Classic Serape, North American Indian, Diné (Navajo) artist, Arizona or New Mexico, about 1865. Raveled cochineal-dyed bayeta, handspun vegetal-dyed and indigo-dyed Churro fleece, and commercial machine-spun undyed Germantown wool yarn, 70 3/4 × 52 1/4 inches. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 33-1431. Photo: John Lamberton.
Sample card from “Curate and Exhibition Card Game”
Cover of the first handbook to the collection, William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art and the Mary Atkins Museum of Fine Arts. Handbook of the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art. Kansas City: The Joseph D. Havens Co, 1933.
Students from Shawnee Mission East, Wyandotte, and Paseo high schools participating in Race Project KC at the Nelson-Atkins, 2017. Photo by Joshua Ferdinand.

Art Insights
You can further explore objects in the exhibition in the Smartify app and hear insights about these selected works from exhibition curators and contributors.

Brick, Telloh, Iraq, about 2200 B.C.E. Clay, 12 1/2 x 12 1/2 x 3 inches (31.75 x 31.75 x 7.62 cm). Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 30-1/1. Photo by Gabe Hopkins.
Mosaic Spandrels of an Arch, Persian, early 1600s. Glazed ceramic tile and gold leaf, assembled: 102 5/8 x 233 1/8 inches (260.68 x 592.15 cm). Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 33-663/1-10. Photo courtesy Nelson-Atkins Media Services.
Howard Chandler Christy, American (1873–1952). Ella Anna Clark, Mrs. Jacob Leander Loose, 1929. Oil on canvas, 60 x 40 inches (152.4 x 101.6 cm). Bequest of Ella C. Loose, 45-70/1. Photo courtesy Nelson-Atkins Media Services.