Robert Morris's Glass Labyrinth

Director's Welcome

Dear Friends,

What a wonderful moment this spring when we opened the door to Glass Labyrinth, the mesmerizing, deceptively complex new sculpture by artist Robert Morris. This was indeed a triumph of creativity, engineering and construction, as our Director of Presentation Steve Waterman can attest. I was especially thrilled to watch the reaction of the artist himself as he walked through the sculpture for the first time. He later told me, "I've never made a work that resounded with such spectacular detail. Everything about it has this close-up detail and finesse." The art historian Barbara Rose also was on hand and declared Glass Labyrinth to be Morris's "masterpiece."

For me, this work of art means a great deal. It is the first commission for the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park entrusted to me after the retirement of Martin Friedman, who was advisor to the Hall Family Foundation for many years and who created a legacy of fine sculpture for Kansas City. The Labyrinth is a fitting achievement to kick off the 25th anniversary of the Sculpture Park.

The sculpture also reflects, in many ways, both the simplicity and complexity of the museum’s Strategic Plan, adopted in April 2013. It is a masterpiece by one of the most intellectual artists of his generation, yet it is accessible; it is transparent and yet its symbolism is all but obvious. You can see it from afar and understand its design, yet it requires you to experience it personally to fully grasp it. In doing so you are led to self-discovery but also into reframing the existing works and museum all around you.

This is really where the highest art engages the spirit of community participation. In a word, it is a piece that has impact. I hope that each of you will take time for your own personal journey to the center of the Labyrinth.


Julián Zugazagoitia
Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell Director & CEO

Where the power of art engages the spirit of community
© 2015 The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
4525 Oak Street, Kansas City, MO 64111 | 816.751.1278 | Contact Us