The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art


DESCRIPTION: Discover the power of art and spirit of the community at the internationally recognized Nelson-Atkins. Add free admission, an Italian courtyard-inspired restaurant, tax-free shopping and friendly, knowledgeable staff to make this your favorite destination, too. 

ADDRESS: 4525 Oak St., Kansas City, Mo.

LOCATION: The Nelson-Atkins is located at 45th & Oak streets, Kansas City, MO. 

PHONE: 816-751-1278



  • The power of art and the spirit of community are the heart of The Nelson-Atkins. With more than 42,000 art objects as part of the encyclopedic collection and free admission, you can take your time explore masterworks ranging from Ancient times to today, including one of the top three Asian art collections worldwide, commissioned Contemporary installations and exceptional Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works. 
  • Named one of America’s “Top Ten Lawns with a View,” the 22-acre Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park is home to the nation’s largest collection of monumental bronzes by Henry Moore. The Sculpture Park also features Kansas City’s iconic installation Shuttlecocks.
  • In 2015, the museum’s collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings was doubled in size and significance with the transformative gift from Henry W. and Marion H. Bloch. 
  • The museum hosts frequent festivals including Chinese New Year, Passport to India, Juneteenth, Kansas City’s Lawn Party, Deaf Culture Day, American Indian Cultural Celebration, and Day of the Dead. All festivals offer free admission, performances, music, dance, and art activities.

HOURS:  Open 10 a.m.-5p.m. Mon., Thurs., Sat., Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday. The Museum is also closed on New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas.

ADMISSION: Free. There may be a charge for special exhibitions.

ANNUAL ATTENDANCE: 500,000 annually.

HISTORY: Established through the trusts of two Kansas Citians—newspaper publisher William Rockhill Nelson and teacher Mary McAfee Atkins—the museum first opened on Dec. 11, 1933. Unlike most major museums, The Nelson-Atkins holdings were not developed from existing collections of art. With the Nelson Trust and the economics of the Depression however, the museum was able to quickly build a strong and expansive collection that has continued to grow ever since. The museum’s early hiring of Chinese art expert Laurence Sickman led to the flourishing of a vibrant and widely recognized Asian art collection. 

WHERE TO GET LUNCH: Called “the prettiest museum café in the Midwest” by Travel Holiday magazine, the museum’s Rozzelle Court Restaurant is fashioned after an open-air Italian courtyard and offers buffet-style service of gourmet main dishes, salads, soups, breads and desserts.

WHAT’S NEARBY: The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art houses striking pieces by artists like Georgia O’Keeffe and Andy Warhol. Shopping and art collide at the nearby Country Club Plaza; Spanish-style towers, ornate statues and whimsical fountains complement the district’s offering of more than 180 shops and restaurants.  

ANNUAL EVENTS: The Nelson-Atkins hosts an assortment of events and galas throughout the year. Popular annual events include festivals such as Kansas City’s Big Picnic, Juneteenth, Day of the Dead, and Party Arty and ShuttleCork. Check the events section on the Nelson-Atkins website for more information.

DID YOU KNOW: The Nelson-Atkins celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Stephen Holl-designed Bloch Building, a critically acclaimed architectural masterpiece addition to the original 1933 Nelson-Atkins Building.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Take the MAX to the Art Museums stop.

PARKING: Entrance to the parking garage is on the west side of The Nelson-Atkins Building on Oak Street. Parking is $12.

PUBLIC RELATIONS CONTACT: Kathleen Leighton, Manager, Media Relations, 816-582-8753 or

Media Contacts

Derek Byrne
Derek Byrne (KC/Regional Media)
Visit KC
Derek Klaus
Derek Klaus (National Media)

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