Right now we take a quick look at The Pitch expecting far too much out of a local publicity stunt and Instagram trap . . .
But the Art Course at Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, now in its third summer of operation, doesn’t offer much beyond the gimmick.
The course’s nine holes are set up in front of the museum, weaving between the terraced lines of hedges and trees. The heretofore-calm lawn and sculpture garden are now congested with groups queuing up to putt, littered with the mechanics of the operation, staff handing out clubs and signage guiding the way—and don’t get too close, because stray balls are definitely flying over the bushes.
The blissful, contemplative vibe on the front lawn has been replaced by commercialism that isn’t even justified by exuberance or connection to art. It’s all just… fine. It’s not worth the space it takes up. It is all fairly forgettable. Run-of-the-mill. No memories being made, no mind being sharpened, no insights being had. Just a solidly decent 45 minutes that probably would’ve been equally decent doing any number of other things.
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Patrons play on a hole inspired by Wayne Thiebaud (American, born 1920), Jawbreaker Machine, 1963. Oil on canvas. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Glenn through the Friends of Art. // Courtesy of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Art-inspired mini-golf sounds like such a lovely idea.