- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 8, 2015

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City is adding 29 new works from artists such as Monet and Van Gogh to its impressionism and post-impressionism collection sooner than expected because of a gallery renovation, officials announced Wednesday.

The paintings, which also include works from Matisse and Renoir, come from the personal collection of H&R; Block co-founder Henry Bloch and his late wife, Marion. The Bloch Family Foundation said it plans to pay for the $11.7 million gallery renovation, which will begin this summer. The donation of the artwork that will fill the space was first announced in 2010 as part of the museum’s 75th anniversary, The Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/1NTLakF ) reports.

No total value has been put on the Bloch collection, but when similar individual pieces are sold at auction, the price for any one of them typically runs to seven or eight figures.

“They’ll be much happier in the museum, hanging among other paintings by the same artists,” Henry Bloch said. “I had originally imagined this gift in the future, but I am so happy to support it happening now. … Planning this renovation project has given me and my family a great deal of joy.”

When renovations wrap up in spring 2017, the new works will be integrated into the museum’s existing collection on the main floor. They’ll more than double the number of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings typically on display at the museum.

“Too often, gifts of wonderful works of art are accompanied by no money, (giving) short shrift to presentation of the gift,” said Philippe de Montebello, former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, who has consulted on the Bloch gift. “Providing funds for the restoration shows a very high level of enlightenment on the part of Henry Bloch and his family.”

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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