Last night I took the opportunity to go the member’s preview of Monet’s Water Lilies at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. There are only 2 Monet triptychs in the United States, and this particular one has been divided among three different museums. As a regular visitor to the Nelson I had seen the panel they own in it’s regular spot in it’s gallery. I was excited to see it in it’s original context, but I had no idea just what I would see.
I went with a very close friend, and due to the craziness of the day we weren’t able to get there until 20 minutes before the museum closed, so we were completely rushed. We practically ran through the Bloch building in order to get the the exhibit with time to see it. As we rounded the corner into the gallery with the complete triptych the mood completely changed. We stood together in complete awe of the painting. I think neither of us had a clue just how impressive and beautiful it would be… add in the emotion of the day leading up to that point, and while neither of us really acknowledged it, we were both on the verge of tears.
I’m no art critic, and even the best can’t put into words what it’s like to see a piece like this. And with Kansas City being the first stop on it’s tour, we were among the first to see it in over 30 years. No photos can do it justice, and having seen one third of it in the permanent collection doesn’t do it the full justice. I’m not going to try to describe it… I’m only going to say that you must see it. It’s in Kansas City, starting tomorrow through August 7th. It will also make stops in Cleveland and St. Louis. Get to one of them if you can (of course I’m partial to KC). I know I don’t write much about art, and I may not have much credibility in this area, but this one is a must see. Just trust me.