The Best Art Museums in Kansas City
Kansas City is known for its lush green fields, clear blue skies, and exemplary museums with some of the finest artwork there is.
With institutions that display everything from the tokens of American Jazz to the modern artwork by today's contemporary artists, visitors will never run out of options to choose from.
Whether you are a native or a first-time visitor, a helpful guideline will serve you well in writing up your itinerary for a day of learning, entertainment, and visual pleasure.
As such, here is a compiled list of the best museums one can visit in Kansas City:
Location: 1616 E 18th Street, Kansas City
The American Jazz Museum is a place where visitors can find multiple exhibits exemplifying the history, impact, and the people's gratitude for the phenomenon that is jazz music.
The museum displays notable collections such as musical instruments used by famous singers, exclusive pictures, recordings, as well as pieces of work that date back to as early as the 1940s, such as the album cover for Julia Lee's "Party Time," which was first released back in 1946. The museum also features a working jazz club within its premises known as "The Blue Room."
While dining, visitors are encouraged to engage with the artifacts on display while listening to weekly live performances by jazz artists themselves.
Visitors may purchase admission tickets directly from the American Jazz Museum's website. Tickets cost $10 for adults, $9 for senior citizens, and $6 for children aged 5 to 12 years old.
Location: 2100 Walnut Street, Kansas City
The Belger Arts Center has been around since the beginning of the 21st century and features several exhibitions that exemplify the artwork of today.
These include various digital art, land art, ceramics, and multiple photography styles. As souvenirs, visitors may take part in a monthly subscription to the museum's "Mug of The Month," which features exclusive handmade mugs by a unique artist every month. In addition, visitors may apply for classes to learn how to hone their skills in mold-making, crafting ceramics, and even creating their own monoprints on clay.
While the museum features multiple free-led tours, visitors are also encouraged to apply for memberships where they can get several exclusive perks such as discounts on artwork purchases, invites to art fairs, and art lessons led by professional artists.
Location: 4420 Warwick Boulevard, Kansas City
Since 1994, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art has displayed multiple works from the critically acclaimed Armory Show in 1913, which exemplified the creative and modern works of artists at the time.
Consequently, it would later on be recognized as the first of the most significant art fairs ever held to display modern art in the USA. Some notable artists permanently featured in the museum are Georgia O'Keeffe (watercolorist), Nan Goldin (photographer), and Jackson Pollock (abstract expressionist).
Visitors may also visit the museum's very own cafe, which features a place where guests can eat while in the presence of paintings by visual and contemporary artist Frederick James Brown.
Admission to the museum is free, but visitors also have the option to support the institution by becoming a sponsor, which comes with VIP perks and museum membership.
Location: 1 Memorial Drive in Kansas City.
The acclaimed Money Museum in Kansas City is a project of the Federal Reserve Bank and is one of 3 branches. It began as an opportunity to help visitors educate themselves on the financial systems of America and experience various financial processes.
Here, visitors can immerse themselves in numerous activities, such as lifting an authentic gold bar, visiting real-life cash vaults, and taking a peek at the exclusive Harry S. Truman Coin Collection.
The museum accepts visitors every weekday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Visitors may simply walk in and go through security checking before being allowed to roam around the grounds.
Location: 5235 Oak Street, Kansas City
The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures features a wide range of collectibles that are both dated and brand new, and available for public viewing.
Some of their past exhibits include a vast range of themes revolving around theatrical toys, doll galleries, as well as the remarkable superheroes and villains of Pop culture.
As the museum is built for both the young and the young at heart, visitors may experience not only viewing displays, but also taking part in activities that are engaging as they are entertaining. Admission prices range from $5 to $8, depending on age.
The Museum of Toys and Miniatures also offers free admission for visitors who have purchased membership perks.
Location: 4525 Oak Street, Kansas City
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art contains one of the most extensive collections of artwork there is. With works featuring from continent to continent and culture to culture, the museum first began as two separate buildings, which eventually conjoined in 1983.
Since then, the museum has housed works by Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, and Caravaggio. Some notable pieces of theirs that can be found on display are the "Olive Trees' by van Gogh, "Rehearsal of the Ballet" by Degas, and "Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness" by Caravaggio.
Visitors looking for a 15-century Italian-style dinner are also more than welcome to visit the museum's "Rozzelle Court Restaurant," located within the premises. The restaurant offers a selection of meals that are just as enticing as the artwork that surrounds it.
Admission to the museum is free of charge, but they also offer memberships that start at $70. These include museum perks such as free parking, discount on shop purchases, and access to exclusive museum activities.
Whether you are looking for a place to dine while simultaneously feasting your eyes on contemporary art, or simply looking for a simple stroll down an aisle of colorful toys and miniatures, Kansas City is the number one place to be. Happy exploring!