Marc Wilson To Step Down at the Nelson-Atkins

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I was sorry to hear that Marc Wilson will be retiring next year as Director of the Nelson-Atkins Museum, and not just because he and his wife Elizabeth know where to find the best Chinese food in Kansas City. Of all the many museums to expand over the past decade or so, his was the one that did it most spectacularly. The luminous addition that Steven Holl designed for the Nelson-Atkins is one of the great buildings of the 21st century and it happened in good measure because of Wilson’s determination to get it done. In his 27 years as director, Wilson did all the things a great director does to raise the profile and professionalism of his institution —  expanded the collection with work of high quality, added new departments and curators, turned some of the Nelson-Atkins vast grounds into a sculpture garden. (And managed to keep his museum free of charge to the public.) But I think his main legacy will still be that extraordinary building, which is a gift to the nation, not just to his city.