New Nelson-Atkins exhibit required extensive renovations - KCTV5 News

New Nelson-Atkins exhibit required extensive renovations

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Restoring any type of building built nearly 100 years ago would prove difficult, but it’s even more challenging when the space you’re updating is a museum.

A new exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has been two years in the making.

The Bloch Galleries of European Art are the end product of a major renovation at the museum.

The space was originally built in the 1930’s. The renovations were possible thanks to a $12 million gift from the Bloch family. It consists of 29 pieces of the family’s art collection.

The renovation is about 9,000 square feet and required major demolition. They completely opened up a staircase to create an open viewing experience and they added state of the art technology.

There are tunable light systems that simulate the environment in which the works were created. Interactive tablets help guests explore the work and learn more. Visitors can even download an app on their iPhones to hear stories about the work.

“Our building was constructed in 1932 and we want to build a contemporary high-performance museum space,” said Erik Heitman, senior project architect and manager. “It’s a challenge to create that because you want a museum environment that will ensure the conservations of the artwork and we want to improve connectivity throughout the museum.”

The artwork is something the museum says everyone will love. It doubles the museum’s current holdings of impressionist and post-impressionist art.

If you want to check it out, the exhibit opens March 11.

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