Short Subjects

It may be a singularly American phenomenon, but there’s no way a museum opens a photo exhibit exploring the complexity of youth and innocence without considering who’s gonna cry pedophilia. Particularly when the lead image is the work of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll), a brilliant and gifted artist but one whose surviving portfolio is nearly 50 percent images of young girls. Carroll’s remarkable mid-19th-century work appears alongside images from 44 others — including fascinating contemporary color shots by artists such as Sage Sohier and Julie Blackmon — in Hide and Seek: Picturing Childhood, an exploration of the social, cultural and biological implications of what it means to be a kid. The exhibit, which opens today at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (4525 Oak, 816-751-1278), remains up through February 21, 2010. See

Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sundays, 12-5 p.m.; Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Starts: Sept. 26. Continues through Feb. 21, 2009