Inside the Nelson-Atkins Museum Collection with director Julián Zugazagoitia

The Baer Faxt sat down with Julián Zugazagoitia, the director of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, to talk through the history of the institution and its collection, including how it came to acquire one of the finest examples of a Guanyin sculpture in the world thanks to a Monuments Men ringleader who rescued it from abandonment in the snow. “It’s almost an Indiana Jones account,” relays Zugazagoitia. The collection came together in the 1930s during a time when traveling wasn’t an easy feat, so the museum became a space where the local community could get a sense of the world. Other highlights in the collection include a giant Monet Water Lilies panel, a Gauguin, as well as one of the few Caravaggios in America.