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Nelson-Atkins Museum to Reopen Sept. 12

New Hours, Rigorous Safety Procedures Implemented

Kansas City, MO Aug.19, 2020 – The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, closed since March 14 due to COVID-19, will re-open to the general public on Saturday, Sept. 12. Admission is still free, but timed tickets will be required to promote social distancing and limit the number of guests in the museum and individual galleries at any one time.

“We have been anxiously awaiting the day when we can safely open our doors to visitors,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell CEO & Director of the Nelson-Atkins. “The new experience will feel a bit different to those accustomed to visiting the museum before the pandemic. But the encounters with art will continue to be powerful, engaging, and transcending.”

Members and museum volunteers are invited to enjoy members-only days in advance of the public opening to provide feedback on new safety protocols that have been put in place. The public is invited beginning Sept. 12. All are asked to reserved free timed tickets on the museum website, www.nelson-atkins.org.

The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, and closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. During the week, special hours will be set aside for members: 10 to 11 a.m. Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Admission will be free, but guests who are able are asked to consider a small donation to help cover the museum’s significant costs regarding the pandemic: $3, $8, $15, $20, or any amount will help the Nelson-Atkins.

“This beloved institution will withstand the setback of this pandemic, and our generous donors are working hard to sustain it into the future,” Zugazagoitia said, “Each donation, whatever the amount, helps underscore the importance of art and expression during these difficult times.”

Under Zugazagoitia’s leadership during the past 10 years, the Nelson-Atkins has become known as a dynamic gathering place that draws nearly 600,000 people each year. The calendar is typically packed with exhibitions, festivals and activities that appeal to a wide and inclusive array of people, with such innovative offerings as Art Course (an outdoor mini-golf course) and Tivoli Theater. However, because of the pandemic, larger exhibitions, programs, classes, and tours have been cancelled through April as a way of tightening expenses. Top priorities have been securing and caring for works of art and buildings, as well as maintaining the museum’s talented team.

Despite the cancellation of large featured exhibitions, there will be plenty to experience at the Nelson-Atkins. The popular exhibition Gordon Parks x Muhammad Ali: The Image of a Champion, 1966/1970 has been extended through April 4, 2021, and features 55 photographs Parks took of Ali while on assignment for Life magazine. The traveling retrospective Robert Blackburn & Modern American Printmaking celebrates Blackburn as a key figure in the development of printmaking in the 20th century. And Perfectly Imperfect: Cranach, Dürer and the Renaissance Nude compares and contrasts the female nudes of the two most important artists of the German Renaissance. This is the museum’s first exhibition featuring German Renaissance paintings in 60 years.

Guests will experience the following changes:

  • The museum will be accessed through four entry points into the Bloch Building: doors on the top level of the parking garage, the bottom level of the parking garage, the door that leads into Thou Mayest coffee shop on the north side of the Bloch Building, and the doors off the Sculpture Park that lead into the south side of Bloch Lobby, close to the Info Desk. The entrances from the garage and into Thou Mayest are all accessible.
  • Masks that cover both the nose and mouth are required to be worn at all times by guests, employees, and volunteers. If a guest does not arrive with a mask, one can be purchased for $2. Directional signage has been placed around the museum to guide guests and encourage social distancing of at least six feet of space between guests, staff, and volunteers.
  • Hand sanitizer will be found throughout the museum for the use of guests. Some restrooms have been closed in order to implement enhance cleaning schedules. Staff and volunteers are taking added safety precautions by monitoring their temperature before the start of each shift, sanitizing surfaces and washing hands frequently, and wearing masks.
  • Rozzelle Court Restaurant, Thou Mayest, and the Museum Store will all have enhanced safety measures in place. Rozzelle Court will transition from a cafeteria-style setting to a fast-casual restaurant. Guests will order from a menu board, receive a number, and servers will bring meals on trays. Also, guests can order meals packaged to go, to enjoy in the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park. The Museum Store will have a capacity of 12 guests.

For media interested in receiving further information, please contact:

Kathleen Leighton, Manager, Media Relations and Video Production

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art