Monday, September 30, 2013

Frida y Diego @ The Nelson & Thoughts on the Importance of Art Education

Growing up I had great art teachers. Even the ones who were strict and kind of mean, they taught me so much. I can remember studying George Seraut, Frida Khalo and Georgia O'Keeffe as just a 7th grader. Then I would gather my materials and create my own imitations of their work. Pointillism was a little over my head at that point, but we all had so much fun using Q-tips to dot our masterpieces. We sketched still lives of cow's skulls and flowers like O'Keeffe and made self portraits after studying Frida's. Looking back only my O'Keeffe style piece gives the vague-ist resemblance of these artists' work.. but wow did we learn! Sadly, this is incredibly water-damaged... but can't you tell it's O'Keeffe inspired?!?! ;)

My world was filled with artistic wonder starting at the age of 12.

Once I got to high school it was even better. We studied German Expressionists and Fauvists, I tried my hand at abstract expressionism and watched a bit of Bob Ross. I joined the art club and between that and advanced courses I managed to take many field trips to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City a mere hour away. We were so lucky, but it never occurred to me at the time.

It never dreamed that some people had experienced boring art classes. or had been given very little cultural context and background to the techniques they were learning. It never occurred to me (until I started traveling) that not everyone has access to a fantastic art museum. Even just within their home state. 

You wouldn't expect a world class art museum to be hidden in the middle of the Midwest, but boy is sure is!

Upon realizing this I have been trying to keep up on what is happening at the Nelson and making periodic trips out with Kyle to explore the museum. Their permanent collection is amazing, it boasts; Monet's Water Lillies, as well as works by Georgia O'Keeffe, Carvaggio, Rodin, Kandinsky, Pissaro, Duchamp, Van gogh, Pollock, Warhol... I could go on and on!

As if this wasn't enough, their rotating exhibits are amazing as well. From June through the middle of August, they had a Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibit. 

I hope you got to see it! It was so amazing!

Seeing their work up close for the first time, was just indescribable. Left: Diego. Right: Frida.

In addition to Frida and Diego's art, there were also other "Masterpieces of Modern Mexico" on display. I was in love with a surprising amount of pieces! My favorite was the one in the middle below, Mujer con rebozo, by David Alfar Siqueiros! So much texture in the brush strokes! Left: nina con naturaleza muerta, by Juan Soriano. Right: I forgot to take a picture to save the info! :( 

There was also a fun gold piece that was gorgeous! I loved this mother-daughter pair!

I also loved this fantastic photograph. It's so beautiful and raw!

So, calling all art lovers: visit Kansas City's Nelson Atkins Museum! It will not disappoint! 

Also: please let me know your favorite art museums!! I'll add them to my travel list! 

To see a review of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, NM, click here.

All for now,



  1. Love Frida! I was lucky enough to grow up in a city with museums that had many of her paintings, she's an inspiration.

  2. Chicago is so wonderful! I love the Art Institute!! I can't wait to go back someday :) -Alexandra


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