Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Nelson-Adkins Museum

Not far from where I live in Kansas is the Nelson-Adkins museum in KC MO. I haven't been to the N-A in a long time but on June 9th I scheduled the whole family to be together for a day in KC. This is no small feat if you know what I mean. I generally get "ughhhh" and "do I have to?" from the kids but I told them I really wanted us to all go and we did.

Its about an hour drive and our tickets to see the Monet Water Lilies were for first thing, 10 am. So we were there at 9:45 ready to go! But---- they don't open until ten, on the dot, ten a.m. and not a minute before. But while we waited my daughter who is working on her 4H photography pictures for the fair in August started taking pictures. I must say she has quite an eye for simple, architectural details. She is always seeking out the one thing that caught her eye. More of her photography to come at a later date.

One of the reasons I really was excited to go was to see the Monet Water Lilies. All three panels were displayed together for the first time in over 30 years. Whoa, had to go see that right? Sure and bonus, I was making the whole family go too. Go Mom/Art Teacher!

At the Monet exhibit, you walk in and see the display about Monet and his life spread out along the long curved entry. No paintings yet. You read through it all and at the end of it you turn around and BAM! you see it. All three panels of his Water Lilies huge across a black wall lit with perfect lighting. There is nothing else in the room except low soft benches to sit and view the painting from.
Of course people are there too. But for some reason we all stay back away from the painting. No one ventures too close. We can see the brush strokes  of the water lilies from  20-25 feet back they are so strong, and bright. You can see the mixing of colors he used in the main body of the painting of the water. You can sit back and see it all.
Then, one brave soul walked right up to the masterpiece and really looked. Looked at it close almost like she might touch it! She didn't touch it but she got up close like no one else had so far. So, I did too. I didn't want her to feel weird being the only one up there so I jumped up and joined her.

We didn't stay up there very long. I was worried I was blocking someones view. Ha, this piece was, quick let me add it up, yep just over 500 inches long. So how much could I block any way? But what I think I was really feeling was out of place. This masterpiece with its lighting and enormouse size was beautiful.
Eventually you decide to go on to the next part and in it is computer programs to let you "paint like Monet" or see the paint samples of the colors of paint Monet used, under a microscope. Along another wall they had displays of the layers of paint used to creat portions of the paintings. Needless to say my kids were thrilled with this and spent a long time investigating all the programs, displays and books on Monet.

We spent the rest of the time there walking through the contempary art wing, photography displays and even walked outside throgh the lawn and some of the sculptures there.
I think everyone really had a great time. We did fly quickly through the main floor of the museum with a quick tour and promises that we can come back and see more later. (Wow they want to come back?) But after 3 hours we needed a break. So some other day this summer, who knows when we'll get a chance, we head back and see the main building again. I was so glad they enjoyed it. My kids are at that age where they don't really want to do things with Mom and Dad too much but June 9th, 2011 was not one of those days. Mark you calendar we had FUN! Family fun! Cool.

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