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Monet’s ’Water Lilies’ at Kansas City museum

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — One of impressionist master Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” triptychs, separated 50 years ago and sold to three museums, has been reunited in a multifaceted exhibit that highlights not only the three-panel artwork, but the artist too.

“I think all of us think of Monet as this father of Impressionism, as this painter who was spontaneous, who painted outdoors in his garden,” said Nicole Myers, associate curator at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, where ”Monet’s Water Lilies” opens April 9. “That was certainly true. He presented himself that way publicly, really to the end of his life.”

But Monet had another side that’s also detailed in the exhibition, which ends Aug. 7 before moving on to the St. Louis Art Museum and then to the Cleveland Museum of Art.

“With these later paintings from the 20th century that he’s working on, you see the sort of obsessive, almost obsessive-compulsive, artist who came indoors and worked tirelessly making revisions again and again in this kind of obsessive way,” she said.

It’s unclear if Monet ever considered the three panels finished, she said.

“And it really blows out of the water this impression we have of this man who just sort of dashed off his first thoughts and left things alone. He worked on them almost consistently from 1915 to 1926,” Myers said.

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