In art terms, In Situ means “in its original place,” a designation for artwork that lives in its place of origin. Think of a mosaic floor among ruins, a fountain sculpture in a park, an installation crafted for a specific venue. This summer, In Situ will mean the story of how a lifetime of art collection leads to a permanent place in one of the world’s finest museums. In Situ is a Kansas City story.
“There are lots of stories here at the museum,” explains Doug Allen, Chief Information Officer at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. And a new chapter has begun with the donation of 29 objects — some of the greatest names and pieces of impressionist and post-impressionist art — from collector and philanthropist Henry Bloch.
Join us as we follow five treasured works of art — with names like Cézanne, Monet, and Manet, among others — from their positions in the home gallery of the Bloch family through the painstaking detail of being transported to their new permanent location. We dive into the thought process behind experiential museum design, feel the physical demands of a gallery renovation, and resonate with the excitement of unveiling the new space to the public.
“I’ve felt our paintings would be happier at the Nelson,” Henry Bloch says. “They have a lot of the same painters that we had. Now they will all be together. They won’t be lonely anymore.”
In Situ: Impressions from the Bloch Galleries highlights each painting and portion of the process in a video here on flatlandkc.org for five consecutive Wednesdays beginning May 10, combining all the short stories into one 30-minute documentary airing at 7 p.m. on June 7 on KCPT.