A Frame of Mind

By The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

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Category: Visual Arts

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Description

A Frame of Mind takes a hard look at race in America through the lens of one art museum. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art sits at a crossroads: in the middle of Kansas City, in the middle of the country, and in the middle of America’s shifting cultural landscape. We’re working through the slow and sometimes messy change of a big museum asking what it can be and whose stories it tells. Along the way, host Glenn North meets brilliant Black and Native artists and thinkers in Kansas City who help us see through their eyes.

Episode Date
The Labyrinth
1615

This is our last episode, but it’s not the end of the story. We go back a few years to when the Nelson-Atkins started to make some moves to celebrate Juneteenth, and why the museum needed to take a breath and listen. We stumble across a performance of the Kansas City 2Step in the museum’s lobby, with Black joy filling the air. And we dream about what could be next.

Featuring Sonié Ruffin, Alvin Brooks, Makeda Paterson, Kreshaun McKinney, and De Barker.

Learn more about our guests, see the art in this episode, and read a transcript of this episode here.



Jan 28, 2022
Under Construction
1714

We don’t know the names of the people whose hands and skill literally built the 1933 Nelson-Atkins building, but we know what some of them look like. This episode begins with a photograph from the museum’s archive and dreams about stories that haven’t been recorded. That gets us thinking about what it feels like to go to an art museum and see people who look like you, and one exhibition at the Nelson-Atkins that really broke some ground for Kansas Citians in telling stories about Black American life. If a museum is a house of stories, it’s always under construction—and maybe it can change the rules.

Featuring Angel Tucker, Muenfua Lewis, Justin Ikerionwu, Sonié Ruffin, Chiluba Musonda, Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver II, Erik Stafford, Alvin Brooks, and Wanda Battle.

Learn more about our guests, see the art in this episode, and read a transcript of this episode here.


Jan 21, 2022
First You Have to See It
1247

The original Nelson-Atkins building has 23 panels carved on the outside, high up and kind of hard to see—really see. They tell a story of settler colonialism in the Midwest, filled with harmful stereotypes of Indigenous people. The story is fiction, but it’s told like monumental history. In this episode, we look closer at these public images with Native artists Mona Cliff, Alex Ponca Stock, Lucky Garcia, and Alex Kimball Williams.

Learn more about our guests, see the art in this episode, and read a transcript here.


Jan 14, 2022
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
1393

Why do Kansas City and the Nelson-Atkins look the way they do? In this episode, we rewind to the beginning of the 1900s. Kansas City was booming from a Cow Town to the Paris of the Plains, and a few city planners and real estate developers saw opportunity. We meet J.C. Nichols, a real estate developer who perfected racially restricted covenants and made big decisions about the Nelson-Atkins when it opened. Along the way, host Glenn North takes us on a Sunday drive.

Featuring Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II, Chiluba Musonda, Erik Stafford, Angel Tucker, and Jake Wagner.

Learn more about our guests, see the art in this episode, and read a transcript here.


Jan 07, 2022
Something's in the Air
1066

For host Glenn North, you can’t talk about anything in the United States—museums, barbecue, football, whatever—without talking about race. It’s always there in our shared history and in our current moment. In this episode, we get to know the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art with Glenn. It’s at the heart of Kansas City, Missouri, in the heartland of the United States. It’s a place that can inspire pride and poetry. But does everyone feel welcome inside?

Learn more about our host, see the art in this episode, and read a transcript here.


Jan 07, 2022
Introducing A Frame of Mind
30

A new podcast taking a hard look at race in America through the lens of one art museum, hosted by Glenn North. From The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Dec 14, 2021