Kansas City, MO
Lincoln Kirstein (1907–1996) was an art insider with the imposing personality and ambitious projects to match his sizable six-foot, three-inch frame. Kirstein was involved in the early history of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and co-founded the New York City Ballet.
Though he abandoned his own painting career, Kirstein directed considerable energy toward shaping the lives of artists and the art world. He organized exhibitions, wrote about art, and connected artists with collectors, museums, and private galleries. An avid collector himself, he eventually donated work by the artists he championed to several institutions, including The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
This exhibition features selections from Kirstein’s gifts, including three works recently given conservation treatment. They are shown alongside works by artists who were his friends and collaborators. These artists focused on human subjects—the lives of people and the human figure itself. Kirstein believed that their work expressed universal experiences and therefore possessed enduring appeal.