Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Exhibit Review

Over Winter Break, I went to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, located in Kansas City, Missouri, to see the new exhibition, Through the Eyes of Picasso, which opened on October 20, 2017 and runs through April 8, 2018. A perk to seeing this particular exhibition was gaining access to the Dreams of the Kings: A Jade Suit for Eternity exhibition, which opened on December 16, 2017 and ends on April 1, 2018.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has a wide variety of art ranging from ancient to contemporary. It’s the home of the Gates of Paradise by Lorenzo Ghiberti, Water Lilies by Claud Monet, and Vincent Van Gogh’s Olive Trees.

Through the Eyes of Picasso, examines Pablo Picasso’s drive to use African Art as inspiration, especially African masks. Each section discusses different aspects of Picasso’s life and how it influenced his work. He focused on the human body and transforming it into an abstract form. Three out of the eleven lithographs of Picasso’s “Bull” (1945) are on display and show the process of breaking down an image and turning it into an abstract artwork. The exhibition goes on to show entertaining photographs of Picasso in his studio, showing his humorous personality and the environment he worked in.

The second exhibition, Dreams of the Kings: A Jade Suit for Eternity, displays the findings from a tomb created for a king of Chu, who ruled during the Han dynasty (206 B.C.E – 220 C.E.). The exhibition shows how the ruler was buried and that his life was believed to continue on after death. Jade played a major role in the burial process and many pieces were found within the tomb. The intricate jade artifacts are displayed on clear panels, so they can be viewed from all sides and they appear to be floating inside the vitrines. There are video panels throughout the exhibition that visitors can interact with to learn more about the culture and history of the ruler and his tomb.

The exhibitions are worth a visit if you find yourself near the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri.


Molly McVey

Museum Science and Management Graduate Student


Water Lilies by Claude Monet
Olive Trees by Vincent van Gogh


Jade burial suit


Gates of Paradise by Lorenzo Ghiberti