Our Day At The Nelson Atkins Art Museum

The Nelson-Atkins Art museum is listed as one of the top tourist attractions in the Kansas City Missouri area according to Visitkc.com  We found online that annually there are over  500 thousand visitors!  We had never been there before so decided that we should be like the hundreds of thousands of other people that came from all over the United Stated to visit this wonderful local attraction. The Art Museum is located at 4525 Oak St, Kansas City, MO 64111. This is how we got there from our office when we took a few people.


If for some reason you need to call, you can reach them at 816-751-1278.  They have a wonderful website that we looked at before we visited.  The website can be found on the internet by visiting this link https://nelson-atkins.org


History Of The Museum

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art emerged from two people’s impulses and aspirations. These individuals had the mutual fantasy of establishing a public museum that will cater to the arts in Kansas City, along with the encompassing area. William Rockhill Nelson believed that the proof of true enlightenment in a civilized city was the necessitation of craftsmanship and culture.

After his death in 1915, most of his home property was utilized to set up the William Rockhill Nelson Trust. The trust’s purpose was to buy art works which will serve as a contribution to the general population’s satisfaction and enjoyment. In order for an art museum to be built for Kansas City, Mary Atkins’ heritage was joined with the Nelson estate. On the 11th of December, 1993, their shared dream was opened to the general public.

It was the Mary Atkins Museum of Fine Arts and the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art.

After visiting the Museum with our family, we learned a few lessons that we believe could be applicable to people who plan on visiting in the future.

Make your visits short, but make sure to visit again. This way it is a lot more exciting for young kids, and learning from the visit will be made more effective. Don’t try to see everything in one time, because that will get too tiresome for younger people, and their interest will wane. You can look at and converse about a few art pieces during visits that last for a minimum of thirty minutes and a maximum of two hours. You don’t have to worry about the expenses of coming often, because the museum is free of charge.

No Touching Allowed

We are not allowed to touch the artwork. Why can’t we, though? The answer is quite simple.

Even if your hands are clean, they can leave marks like fingerprints on the artwork, which may cause or speed up material degradation.

All you need to appreciate the artworks are your sense of hearing, sense of sight, and your mind. So don’t forget to tell your children that it is best to keep their hands to themselves, and maintain a safe distance.

Supplies and Bags


Big handbags, bags, or rucksacks must be worn over a shoulder or hand-carried. You also have the option of leaving them at the Bloch Lobby Coat Check free of charge. Strollers and baby carriers are allowed at the facility.

You can bring pencils and paper if you wish to draw any art pieces in the gallery, but paint, markers, crayons and pens are not allowed.


Break Time

If you want a break, you can head to the Ford Learning Center, Kirkwood Hall, the Block Lobby or the Mezzanine. There are benches there that make let you rest comfortably. Picnics and playtime is also perfect at the Donald K. Hall Sculpture Park.



You can find restrooms at the Lobby, which is located close to the Auditorium. All ladies’ restrooms have changing stations for your babies, while the men’s restroom found on the Plaza Level has one.


Activities and Games


What will serve as a good encouragement for your kids to look at the works of art?

The best encouragement is to engage in conversation with your child and ask them questions. This will let them utilize their creativity and imaginations.


What is the individual in the sketch contemplating?

What hues do you find in the work of art? Are the hues energizing or tranquil?

What is the story being told in the artistic creation?

What would be the model’s movements if the artwork came alive?

For what reason do you think the craftsman needed to paint this?

How does the sculpture make you feel?


Sketching at the Museum

Sit down, whip your pencil and paper out, take inspiration from the art, and sketch with your kids. Let them sketch which art works their favorites are. Give encouragement to observe lines, shapes, and patterns


Postcard Game

You can get a postcard at the Museum Store. Make a quick visit and let your kid choose their favorites. Use these as a basis on where to go in the Museum, since the objects in the postcards are all art pieces you can find there. They can also serve as souvenirs you can take home and add to your collection.


Twenty Questions

Let your child pick an art piece in the museum without telling you what it is. Start asking questions that can only be answered with no or yes, until you have enough information to guess what the art piece is. Like the name suggests, you are only limited to twenty questions.


Observe and Recall

Tell your child to choose which art piece is their favorite, and then ask them to take a close look and observe it for at least three minutes. Once the observation is done, have them look away from the artwork and probe them with relevant questions. First, use easy queries that will test their memory recall. Then, make the questions more difficult and specific little by little to give them a challenge. Once you’re done, change places and let your child ask you questions!

Please check out another of our articles about Kansas City and our visit to the WW1 monument here