BY DARRYL LEVINGS
The Kansas City Star
If you’re interested in the nude form, the Nelson-Atkins Museum is an excellent venue.
Inside’s not so bad, either.
Turns out the iconic Shuttlecocks have been an unauthorized prop for posing young ladies, sans clothing.
Neighbors of the museum say such au naturel art appreciation has been going on for years. Just last month sharp-eyed security personnel electronically shooed one woman away from a big birdy before she could pull off more than her pants.
Perhaps the first episode — confirmed by museum folk, at least — was around 1996, not so long after the four white-and-orange sculptures were set up by artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen.
“It happened right outside my office,” recalled Marc Wilson, who retired in 2010 as museum director. “Only once that I know of. It seemed to be a professional photo shoot.”
Wilson looked down from his office window to see an attractive model join the photographer near the sculpture on the south terrace.
“She stands in front of the shuttlecock and proceeds to discard her T-shirt, then her shorts and then her flip flops. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I called to my secretary that she’d better come see this, and she said, ‘Oh, my goodness, she’s buck naked.’”
Wilson is still puzzled. “I’ve never seen the pictures posted anywhere. I’m curious. What was the purpose?”
To get a thrill? The museum staff, meanwhile, clearly is anything but by these occurrences.
When a woman approached a Shuttlecock farther south on the lawn last month, possibly for a photo by an unseen accomplice, she was shocked to hear a close-by voice demand she cease and depart. Which she did, sheepishly — or was it sheep-pieceishly?
This much was confirmed by Toni Wood and Kathleen Leighton of the museum’s communications and media relations department, although a Nelson official in charge of grounds security denied awareness of any such incidents.
“Kind of bizarre,” said Leighton. “A woman removed her slacks, and she was asked to put them back, and she did. There was not another person seen. We have cameras everywhere and motion sensors and microphones near the art in case people get too close or climb on it.”
Asked about reports of other cases occurring recently, Wood batted the question back. “We have one incident. As far as people disrobing, we have no information.”
So, the official word is: Nobody’s out there on the Nelson grounds but us art buffs.
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/04/22/4196390/hey-that-nude-at-the-nelson-just.html#storylink_mainstorystack#storylink=cpy