The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City.

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The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. 1 July 2017.

So here we go through part one of day 2 (or the first full day) in the whirlwind trip through Kansas (even if we were really in Missouri). While Ryan was in charge of the big ticket item dates, I put my time and research into smaller places that I would want to visit on one of my normal travel expeditions. And this, of course, leads us to The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

If you know my background – an MA in Cultural and Creative Industries (which is a fancy way of saying I studied things like museums, publishing, social heritage, media, and international business movement and technology across entertainment fields – basically a wide range of topics) – you know that I love museums. I have a brief insight into how individual galleries are curated and then how things move through the whole of the museums from this degree and, alongside my collected knowledge from my college art history class, this makes exploring so much more fun, especially when I have an audience who doesn’t mind hearing all about it.

With this background and my love of photography, this pick was absolutely fantastic.

First off, the museum itself is lovely – built with classical architecture and rooms upon rooms of art and a sculpture garden that is sparse enough to feel like a park while still calling itself part of an exhibit.

This is the part of the museum that we actually came out to see. I absolutely loved all the Shuttlecocks sculptures and understand how these became the statement piece and symbol of the whole museum. The sculptures are scattered throughout the garden in patches and across levels which is great for both pictures and picnics while surrounded by all kinds of art. Outside, the sculptures fall into the modern art classifications, but has a range that makes it interesting enough to keep running around – I loved the maze (but walk slow because I have seen many slam into the clear walls), the metallic tree, and (I must mention again) all of the different Shuttlecocks. Even if you aren’t looking for a museum day, this is a lovely areas just to come and have some lunch if you are in the area.

We didn’t spend much time inside, except for lunch, but we did run through the impressionist gallery, and, if this is any indication of the rest of the museum, every gallery would be worth stepping into if only for the unorthodox set up. Again, we were in the impressionist gallery, but throughout there were other types of art – furniture pieces and small scale sculptures which used an interesting juxtaposition. For me, if a gallery had a Degas ballerina sculpture (which this did), I am more than happy.

But onto lunch: as with all museums, food here isn’t cheap, however, unlike other places, the portions were rather generous. The staff was friendly and efficient and the room was lovely – hanging lights and natural daylight, with black iron tables surrounding a fountain. We had sandwiches and soup (I had half portions of both) and a blondie for dessert, plus infused water and every bit of it was fantastic. It is all freshly made in front of you so if you don’t want a specific spread or veg on your sandwich, they can make it without, without any extra work. Again, the portions were really generous and I was happily full on the half portions! Also, if you can agree on the type of sandwich, you can split the whole for cheaper than buying two halves.

I’ll end it here without going over and over my strange, nerdy discussions over curation and storytelling through the placement choices, but I will say, if you visit Kansas City, go see this museum. It’s beautiful, full of so much to see, has a full itinerary of events going on all the time, and, as someone who loves the arts, visit and make a small donation for the upkeep because your trip (minus parking, food, and special exhibits) doesn’t cost you anything!

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

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The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City.

Notes on The Broad, Los Angeles.

The first trip…

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From the Broad windows. The Broad, Los Angeles. April 2016.

This past weekend, I managed to make it to The Broad museum in Los Angeles. This is a small privately owned collection of modern art collected by the members of the Broad family.

We had tickets for 5pm on Sunday – the last ticketed entrance time – with a 6 pm closing. Therefore, this was definitely the first trip because we didn’t manage to make it all the way through.

I feel like I need to admit here: I’m not a huge fan of modern art – most of it just doesn’t resonate with me. Mostly, I just find individual pieces interesting – I love the over-sized furniture room but mostly because it like being Alice in Wonderland (my love of this story has been documented here well enough).

Otherwise, I loved the word pictures – basically just words/phrases on canvas (probably because of my bookish background and ability to make it myself!).

Our favorite room (that we managed to get into) has to be the lower level music room. Officially, this is a piece by the Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson called The Visitors, completed in 2012. The lyrics of the song are based on a poem by Ásids Sif Gunnarsdóttir as arranged by Kjartansson and Davíõ Pór Jónsson.

You can read up on the piece yourself, but basically you walk into this room which holds eight videos and speakers which show individuals playing said song, each set up in a different room. Wherever you set yourself up in the room, you’ll be able to hear and watch specific screens louder/more clearly.

We agreed we could have sat in this room moving from place to place for hours on end!

My biggest piece of advice is to go early.

The museum isn’t that large and, if you want, you can get through everything relatively quickly, however, the room that you’ll really want to visit – and the real reason I need to go back – is the widely acclaimed Infinity Room.

This is a room of mirrors which seems to go one forever, and every picture I’ve seen is amazing. The issue is that the line for this is long and the sign up fills quickly. Later arrivals can always check for available standby positions for no shows – which was recommended by one worker – but the chances are unlikely.

I love the look of the building as a whole. Once again, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that I’m a huge architecture fangirl. What I love about this building is how you can look out through the cutouts which not only give you an interesting perspective but brings in nice life.

There are also windows within the building which allow you to look into the archived areas. This was another huge fangirl moment for me as someone who has studied the cultural and creative industries.

But for now – with this first visit – that’s all I have, so until next time:

This is Leave in the Wind, helping you soar.

Notes on The Broad, Los Angeles.