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Last Chance for Public to See Water Lilies Together at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Nicole Myers, Associate Curator of European Painting and Sculpture at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, talks about Claude Monet's "Water Lilies" triptych during a press preview of the exhibit, Friday, April 1, 2011, in Kansas City, Mo. For the first time in 30 years the three panel work of the Impressionist artist will be on display at the museum and will run from April 9 through August 7, 2011. AP Photo/Ed Zurga.

KANSAS CITY, MO.- The enormous popularity of three panels of a remarkable water lily triptych by Claude Monet has prompted extended hours at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art as the exhibition nears its closing date of Aug. 7. Monet’s Water Lilies reunites the right-hand panel, from the Nelson-Atkins collection, with panels owned by the Saint Louis Art Museum and the Cleveland Museum of Art. The three were last exhibited together in 1979. With the exception of a triptych in New York’s Museum of Modern Art, this is the only Monet triptych in the United States.

The Museum will be open until 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, July 27–30, and until 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday Aug 3–6. There will be a Happy Hour in Bloch Lobby from 5:30–8 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday of both weeks. There will be live music and dinner served in Rozelle Court each Friday night from 5–9 p.m., with the last serving at 8 p.m.

“Our extended hours will give as many visitors as possible the opportunity to view this masterpiece,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Director & CEO of the Museum. “We are delighted with the large number of people who have come through the exhibition.”

To date, more than 62,000 people have visited the popular triptych. It is anticipated that many more people will be able to see this masterpiece with the Museum’s new, extended hours.

Without doubt, Monet (1840-1926) was the most important of all the Impressionist painters, and his water lily paintings represent the culmination of his career, dominating the last decades of his life. “These landscapes of water and reflection have become an obsession for me," he wrote to a friend in 1909. “It is beyond my strength as an old man, and yet I want to render what I feel.”

Monet’s famous garden at his home in Giverny provided the inspiration for these and all of his water lily paintings, and the exhibition will bring to life the importance and beauty of this garden—and the artist’s passion for it—through a range of archival photographs, as well as an early, rarely seen film from 1915, showing Monet painting outdoors in his garden.

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