College hosts 20th anniversary of Night at the Nelson


Carina Smith

Managing editor

On April 7 the college will host its annual event at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art called “Night at the Nelson” starting at 6 p.m. This will be the event’s 20th consecutive year.

Speakers are typically professors of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences department at the college. Faculty members choose a piece of artwork at the museum and speak about it to relate to their discipline, offering students a more in-depth view of the work and its history.

“The level of academic achievement that we have at the college with our faculty, these are experts in their field, and they’re taking a Friday night out of their busy schedules to volunteer their time at the Nelson to tell people about a great work of art. It’s just such a great opportunity,” said Allison Smith, professor and chair of the Art History department.

The event usually has around 800 attendees, but it has also drawn upwards of 1000 guests in previous years. Since the attendance is so high and the works of art are spread out among the museum, Smith recommends students show up half an hour before the first talk begins.

“We say that it starts at 6 p.m. because there’s usually a line to pick up a program and students need to figure out where they’re going and to get themselves settled,” Smith said.

Smith compared the Night at the Nelson to her Noon at the Nerman events that happen every Friday in the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art.

Night at the Nelson is free and a handful of tickets will be available at the door for students or guests who want to attend but weren’t able to get tickets prior to the event. There will also be tickets set aside for online students who want to attend.

For students of teachers offering extra credit, students will need to fill out the information on the back of the ticket and turn it in when they arrive at the museum.

“At the end of the night, the folks in the Art History department organize the tickets by professor names,” Smith said. “Then the following week we return all the tickets to the faculty members and that’s how someone knows if a student attended.”

Night at the Nelson is free and students can get their tickets from faculty in the Architecture, Art History, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Humanities, Interior Design, Photography, or Theater departments.

“For me, it’s just such a joy to be able to interact with my students outside the classroom,” Smith said. “It’s so fun for me to see them at the museum and they have such a great time and I often get to meet their significant others or their parents or people in their personal lives. That’s just not something I get to do in the classroom.”

2017 speakers:

Presenting at 6:30 p.m.

Offering Procession of the Empress

Professor Michael Hembree, PhD

Nelson-Atkins Building, Gallery 204


Thomas Cole, The Mill, Sunset

Professor Jill Domoney, MA

Nelson-Atkins Building, Gallery 211


Richard Estes, Central Savings

Duane Hanson, Museum Guard

Professor Valerie Zell, MA

Bloch Building, Gallery L3


Jules Olitski, Wet Heat Company

Professor Bernard Norcott-Mahany, MA

Bloch Building, Gallery L2



Professor Michael Robertson, PhD

Nelson-Atkins Building, Gallery P4


Standing Figures

Professor Mark Cowardin, MFA

Donald J Hall Sculpture Park, North Lawn


Presenting at 7 p.m.

Andy Warhol, Baseball

Professor Lorraine McCarty, PhD

Bloch Building, Gallery L3


Nick Cave, Property

Professor Dawn Gale, MA

Bloch Building, Gallery L8


Willem de Kooning, Woman IV

Professor Clinton Ricketts, MFA

Bloch Building, Gallery L2


Portrait of a Woman

Professor Darrick Taylor, PhD

Nelson-Atkins Building, Gallery P3


Frederic Remington, Teaching a Mustang Pony to Pack Dead Game

Professor James Leiker, PhD

Nelson-Atkins Building, Gallery 218


Jin Tingbiao, The Six Worthies of the Bamboo Stream

Professor Dennis Arjo, PhD

Nelson-Atkins Building, Gallery 222


André Kertész, Muedon

Professor Kathleen Mendenhall, MA

Bloch Building, Gallery L10


Presenting at 7:30 p.m.

A Scene from the Life of the Buddha

Professor Timothy Hoare, PhD

Nelson-Atkins Building, Gallery 226


Jan Steen, Fantasy Interior with Jan Steen and the Family of Gerritt Schouten

Professor Allison Smith, PhD

Nelson-Atkins Building, Gallery P17


Stele of Se-Ankhy and Ankhu

Professor Stacy Davidson, MA

Nelson-Atkins Building, Gallery P1


Francesco Mosca, called Moschino,

Atalanta and Meleager with the Calydonian Boar

Professor Rachel DiCamillo, MA

Nelson-Atkins Building, Sculpture


John Douglas Patrick, Brutality

Professor Holly Milkowart, MA

Nelson-Atkins Building, Gallery 213


Bruce Nauman, Setting a Good Corner (Allegory and Metaphor)

Professor Tonia Hughes, MFA

Bloch Building, Gallery L4


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