Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Given National Accreditation

Attendance at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City jumped significantly in the 2011 calendar year, to 410,000 visitors. In 2010, 359,000 visitors came to the museum. The higher numbers are attributed to a renewed sense of energy surrounding the exhibitions and events offered by the Nelson-Atkins.

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Bloch Building

“We are gratified to recognize such a large increase in the number of visitors to the museum,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Director & CEO. “We are partnering with many community organizations such as our collaboration with the Consulate of Mexico, the Mattie Rhodes Center and Guadalupe Centers for our Day of the Dead celebration, which was a huge success. We plan to continue partnerships like this in the future. And for the first time, we are featuring art in the Bloch lobby, such as Roxy Paine’s sculpture-making machine, and the current exhibition of Rodin sculptures.”

Nearly 100,000 visitors came to see Monet’s Water Lilies during the spring and summer. The exhibition was the first time all three sections of the famous triptych had been on view together in more than 30 years. Membership numbers are also on the rise, with a 5% increase from fiscal year 2010 to 2011, and a projected increase of 10% for fiscal year 2012.

The Nelson-Atkins has also been awarded re-accreditation by the National Association of Museums, which means the Museum has met the highest standards and practices in the industry. The accreditation is the culmination of several years of gathering data and scrutinizing collection and management policies.

“This entire process has been healthy for this institution,” said Karen Christiansen, Chief Operating Officer. “It allowed us to look at best practices of museums around the country and take a good look at what we’re doing here. We are delighted to receive this stamp of approval from the American Association of Museums.”

The accreditation process is extremely thorough, covering the Museum’s mission and leadership, collections stewardship, education and interpretation and financial stability. The Nelson-Atkins was first accredited more than 20 years ago. Each accreditation lasts for about 14 years, and the process for renewal was begun in 2007.

The Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City is recognized nationally and internationally as one of America’s finest art museums. The Nelson-Atkins serves the community by providing access and insight into its renowned collection of more than 33,500 art objects and is best known for its Asian art, European and American paintings, photography, modern sculpture, and new American Indian and Egyptian galleries. Housing a major art research library and the Ford Learning Center, the Museum is a key educational resource for the region. The institution-wide transformation of the Nelson- Atkins has included the 165,000-square-foot Bloch Building expansion and renovation of the original 1933 Nelson-Atkins Building.
The Nelson-Atkins is located at 45th and Oak Streets, Kansas City, MO. Hours are Wednesday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; Thursday/Friday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sunday, Noon–5 p.m. Admission to the Museum is free to everyone. For Museum information, phone 816.751.1ART (1278) or visit

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