Saturday called for rain and drizzle all day, so Chris and I thought this would be the perfect time to visit the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (museum #7). The morning was as predicted, overcast and cool, and we arrived at the museum just as it was opening. Right now, the special exhibit is Monet's Water Lilies. All three. Together. AT ONE TIME. Some of you may not know, but this is a rare event. One of these paintings usually resides in St. Louis and the other is from a private collection. The Nelson-Atkins claims the third. I wasn't quite prepared for it when I rounded the corner and saw all three of these paintings together the way they were meant to be seen. My breath caught in my throat and I got a little teary. The exhibit is set up well, with loungey couches to sit on and just be and look to hearts content. We got there early enough to avoid a crowd and have the paintings mostly to ourselves. One of the things I like about Monet's work is that it's meant to be viewed from a distance. When you look up close, all you see are the brush strokes and the smears. Up close the colors are pretty, but it's when you step back from the painting that image actually takes shape. This holds true for even his small paintings.
We sort of lost momentum after seeing the Water Lilies. We wandered through the photography exhibit and to a few other rooms, but we were in no rush to see the whole museum because the Nelson-Atkins Museum is free. Yeah, you heard me. FREE! I see many, many visits in our near future. I see picnics in the sculpture gardens in the Summer and Fall and long strolls through the halls on cold, blistery Winter days. It's a good image.