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    Nelson Atkins Museum of ArtNelson Atkins Museum of Art Kansas City, Missouri
    this fabulous art museum located in Kansas City, Missouri is best known for its beautiful neoclassical architecture and comprehensive collection of Asian artworks, constructed on the grounds of Oak Hall, the former estate of Kansas City Star publisher, William Rockhill Nelson, who instructed in his will of 1915, that after his widow and daughter passed on, the entire estate would be sold and the proceeds given to buy artworks for public enjoyment. His bequest was augmented by his daughter, attorney and son-in-law. It really began in 1911, when former schoolteacher, Mary Atkins, the widow of real estate speculator, James Burris Atkins, left $300,000 to start an art museum, and through the management of the estate, it grew into $700,000 by 1927. The original plans would call for two museums to be constructed based on the different requests, with the Atkins being located in the Penn Valley Park, but the trustees of the two estates got together and thought that it would be more beneficial to the public if they combined the bequests with smaller ones from other people to create one single major art institution. When it opened, it had cost $2.75 million, and the dimensions of the six story structure was 390 feet long by 175 wide making it bigger than the Cleveland Museum of Art. The museum would be called the Nelson Art Gallery, although it was two museums contained in one, but in 1983, it was officially changed to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The exterior has 23 limestone panels that depict the march of civilization from east to west including wagon trains going west from Westport Landing and were created by Charles Keck.

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    Kansas City MuseumKansas City Museum Kansas City, Missouri
    the Kansas City Museum is located at Corinthian Hall in the historic Northeast Neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri that is also called the R. A. Long House and sits on three gorgeous acres that include the hall and various outbuildings, with the majority of them being rejuvenated to house various exhibits that pertain to the local history and natural sciences, a 1910 style soda fountain that serves ice cream and phosphates and a 50 seat planetarium. The structure would be named after the six columns and was originally called the Palace on Gladstone Boulevard. It was constructed in 1908 by Robert A. Long for about $1 million and designed by Henry Hoit of Hoit, Price and Barnes, in a beaux arts style housing 25,000 square feet that would become Long's mansion until his passing in 1934. It would then be donated to the city's museum association in 1939 by Long's daughters and then opened as a museum in 1940. When it still was a residence, it contained a number of closets and rooms filled with elaborate tapestries, antique furniture and paintings. Unfortunately, the house wasn't able to handle a museum so a lot of remodeling would be required to make the smaller rooms into bigger ones so that they would house the exhibits. Even though the changes would devalue the house historically, it was necessary to contain the unique dioramas that held stuffed animals along with presentations and classes offered in taxidermy.

April 6, 2011