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Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

This free art museum is home to a vast collection of local and international art. The building’s exterior is just as impressive as the art within.

The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art began with the private collection of Bebe and Crosby Kemper in 1994. The wealthy couple had built a large personal collection of more than 700 pieces and with the assistance of local businesses were able to open their museum to the public. The museum was designed by Latvian-American architect Gunnar Birkerts, who sought to structure the building around the theme of progress in modern art. From above, the building resembles a bird in flight.

Before or after your visit, be sure to wander through the grounds and take in the building and the sculptures surrounding it. Two large cast iron artworks greet you; one a giant spider and the other a modern and playful take on Rodin’s The Thinker.

Inside, the museum is partitioned into various wings that hold the permanent and temporary exhibits. In the permanent collection, admire works from 1913 to the present day. Artists include Arthur Dove, Damien Hirst, Robert Mapplethrope and Hung Liu. The art spans across all forms, from paintings and sculptures, to installation and photography. The museum has also housed temporary exhibitions from renowned North American and international artists.

Join one of the free docent-led tours that will guide you through the current exhibitions. There’s no need to register for the tours. Find a schedule of dates and times on the museum’s website.

The museum’s Café Sebastienne is regarded as one of the best restaurants in the city and is open most days for lunch and for dinner on Friday and Saturday. Stop in for a light snack during the day or enjoy dinner in the museum’s surrounds.

The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is located off Warwick Boulevard in Kansas City and is accessible by public transport down Main Street or by car. Parking is free. Admission is free year-round. The museum is open every day except Monday.


Guide to Exploring around Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art


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Lodging Near Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

See all 362 Properties near Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Embassy Suites Kansas City - Plaza $122
Reviewed on Jun 6, 2019
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Embassy Suites Kansas City - Plaza

Embassy Suites Kansas City - Plaza

220 W 43rd St, Kansas City, MO
     
    3.8 of 5
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Large property with many outlets. Easy parking, great location.

    The Fontaine $127
    Reviewed on Jun 12, 2019
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    The Fontaine

    The Fontaine

    901 W. 48th Place, Kansas City, MO
       
      4.5 of 5
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      First class experience all around. The staff, the room, the value received...would definitely stay here again.

      Sheraton Suites Country Club Plaza $119
      Reviewed on Jun 9, 2019
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      Sheraton Suites Country Club Plaza

      Sheraton Suites Country Club Plaza

      770 W 47th St, Kansas City, MO
         
        4.0 of 5
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Customer service was excellent. Check in was quick

        Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza $127
        Reviewed on Jun 16, 2019
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        Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza

        Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza

        4445 Main St, Kansas City, MO
           
          4.3 of 5
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Front desk check-in staff needs to smile and not make you feel like you are bothering them !! Happened at both check-in and check-out. Treat me like a guest and learn to smile and be personable !! Will probably try somewhere else next time !!

          Best Western Plus Seville Plaza Hotel $93
          Reviewed on Jun 11, 2019
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          Best Western Plus Seville Plaza Hotel

          Best Western Plus Seville Plaza Hotel

          4309 Main Street, Kansas City, MO
             
            4.1 of 5
            2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Good location in downtown K.C. Easy walking distance to the Nelson-Atkins.

            Holiday Inn Country Club Plaza $88
            Reviewed on Apr 21, 2019
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            Holiday Inn Country Club Plaza

            Holiday Inn Country Club Plaza

            1 E 45th St, Kansas City, MO
               
              3.8 of 5
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              This property has gone through a lot of name changes in the years; but it doesnt seem to have had an adverse effect on either the staff or the physical property itself

              Courtyard by Marriott Kansas City Country Club Plaza $101
              Reviewed on Jun 4, 2019
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              Courtyard by Marriott Kansas City Country Club Plaza

              Courtyard by Marriott Kansas City Country Club Plaza

              4600 J C Nichols Pkwy, Kansas City, MO
                 
                4.3 of 5
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                The bed was alittle too firm but for others it might be fine.

                Oak Street Mansion $109
                Oak Street Mansion

                Oak Street Mansion

                4343 Oak St, Kansas City, MO
                   
                  5.0
                  of 5, from 2 reviews
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Kansas City, this inn is within a 5-minute walk of Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Country Club Plaza and University of Missouri-Kansas City are also within 2 mi (3 km).