We all remember the song The Itsy, Bitsy Spider. While I can’t identify the writer of this classic children’s song, Iza Trapani wrote a children’s book by the same name, all about that spider.
I cannot help but believe that if that itsy, bitsy spider had grown up, it would look much like this spider, a bronze sculpture cast in 1997 by the artist, Louise Bourgeois. It sits on the lawn of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, a short walk from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Mid-Town Kansas City.
Behind her, poised on the museum wall, is the “bitsy” version of the Kemper’s Spider.
It was love at first sight of this spider for me. I recently told a new Iowa friend who had visited the Nelson-Atkins to be sure to visit the Kemper Museum. I did not tell him who would greet him. I thought he might like to be surprised.
I love the Spider as well. I do not remember whether it was acquired for the museum during Dan Keegan’s tenure as museum director or whether it came later.