Sunday, January 22, 2012

Crystal Bridges Art Museum

picture of Crystal Bridges Art Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas
Margot and I visited my parents in Rogers, AR recently. When we returned from Oklahoma we visited the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville.

It is quite a place - just opened in November.

This is about half of it. Here are some pictures from 15 months ago during construction. Construction

The grounds will be beautiful in spring.

picture of Crystal Bridges Art Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas

Another view.

The museum was funded by the Walton Foundation. Sam's daughter Alice has been the driving force.

Hard to say what the total cost has been so far but the Wikipedia article says the museum has amassed assets of $488MM.

Photograph of Kindred Spirits by Durand

This is one of the most famous acquisitions that the museum has made. Kindred Spirits by Durand was purchased from the New York Public Library for $35MM.

The amazing thing is that you can walk right up to it. They ask you to stay 18 inches away and the gallery monitor will move in pretty quickly if you lean in too close - just ask Margot.

Crystal Bridges - Wikipedia

Rosie the Riveter by Norman Rockwell at Crystal Bridges
This is another well known painting.

Rosie the Riveter by Norman Rockwell. I've seen this picture hundreds of times in magazines and what not but I never noticed Rosie's foot rest until Margot pointed it out to me. Hopefully the picture is big enough to read it.

Click to enlarge.

If you right-click and "open link in new tab" you will see a larger version of the picture.

A view of one of the galleries. Some of the paintings are owned by the museum and others are on loan.

Here is a link to the museum website.

The best part (to me) is they let you take pictures. They just ask you to not use flash or focus assist lights.

I don't imagine they allow tripods. I didn't ask. Consequently, it is tough to get really crisp pictures.

They have a portrait of George Washington by Charles Willson Peale but it was too blurry.

The Bubble by Harriet Whitney Frishmuth at Crystal Bridges in Bentonville Arkansas

I predict that The Bubble by Harriet Whitney Frishmuth will be very popular with the 4th grade boys during field trip season.

Here are a few more.

Click to enlarge.

The museum was sort of controversial when first announced. The East Coast art cognoscenti didn't seem to think much of a major art museum in ARKANSAS. The recent reviews have been grudgingly complimentary in general.
Washington Post
New York Times

Valley of the Catawissa in Autumn by Thomas Moran at Crystal Bridges

This one is by Thomas Moran.

Valley of the Catawissa in Autumn

All sorts of art. From Colonial to 19th Century to Modern to Contemporary.

This article by an obvious Wal-Mart hater even acknowledges that the museum and its art are pretty spectacular.


Did I mention the admission cost? It is zero, nada, mei you. It is free thanks to a donation of $20MM by Wal-Mart.
Self portrait by Evan Penny at Crystal Bridges

This is a self portrait by Evan Penny. Amazingly life-like.
The Island by Walton Ford at Crystal Bridges

The Island by Walton Ford

Last Supper in spools of thread at Crystal Bridges

This one I thought was interesting. I don't recall the artist it is the Last Supper done in spools of thread hanging vertically. When you look in the little glass sphere in the center you see the painting inverted.

The picture is deceiving. When you stand there it is hard to discern the subject.

Here is a picture of the sphere.

Here is Margot looking at one of the more disturbing compositions.

Walking to Boras by Jim Dine at Crystal Bridges

This is Walking to Boras by Jim Dine.

Eagles at Gentry, Arkansas

During our visit to Arkansas we took a trip out to Gentry to see some Bald Eagles that are wintering in the area.

According to a local photographer at the viewing platform the eagles are supplementing their diet with dead chickens thrown out by the local chicken farmers.

They are hanging out at a power plant cooling lake.

Here is a link to Google Maps if you are interested in the location.

Google Maps Link

Zoom out - all the long silver buildings are chicken farms.

It was really windy. We saw 2 eagles at one time but they weren't hanging out much.

There were some gulls and ducks around.

This one just took off after diving into the water. You can see a few water droplets falling off as he takes off.

Click to enlarge.

Here the gull has a fish in its mouth.

Almost looks like too much to swallow.

McAlester, Oklahoma

In conjunction with our trip to Arkansas we went to McAlester, OK for a memorial service for my step-aunt Mary Frances Edwards - more on that later.

As you get to the exit ramp for McAlester this is what you see. So cliche for Oklahoma and disorienting at the same time. No fence or anything between you and the cattle.

Here is the front view.

They are sculptures commissioned as a memorial to a local rancher.

It is right on the highway. You can see them in Google Maps.

These next 2 pictures put the sculpture in perspective with the highway.

At 60 MPH they look pretty damn life-like. They really startled me when I saw them for the first time.

This plaque explains it all.

Back the visit. Here is a picture of the house my Savage grand-parents lived in while I was growing up at 519 East Adams. The porch has been closed in and all the landscaping removed. I think it looked better before.

Didn't get a picture of my mother's parents home although we did drive by.

Here's a picture of 519 East Adams the way I remember it.

Thanks, Theresa, for finding this and securing permission to post this from  Barbara Francis Minton who posted it on Facebook.

My great grand-parents lived in this house on Jefferson directly behind the Adams house.

The rocks are a lot smaller now - or maybe my perspective has changed. I remember more of a cliff.

This is the T. H. Savage Memorial Stadium in McAlester. That is my great grand-father - not me.

The plaque.

I didn't get any picture of at the memorial service but here are a few at the Isle of Capri restaurant in Krebs. My parents Hal and Nancy Savage (closest) and my aunt and uncle Chip and Janet Daniel.

Here are more of the out of town guests and friends.

That is Mary Frances's husband Dana Snodgress in the plaid shirt sort of in the middle.

Here is a link to Mary Frances's obituary.
MFE Obituary
Don't know how long the link will work.

Another shot.

Yet another.

From left to right, Greg and Theresa Brue, Bob and Sue Inich and Margot Savage.

As far as I know, Greg was the only person to wimp out on the lamb fries.

Here is a cat resting on the hood of a car at the Ervin's home after the service.

The rest of this post will have no interest for anyone except maybe immediate family. I include these pictures just to get them in the record - so to speak. Maybe someday they might help someone locate a grave site.

From left Greg Brue, Janet Daniel, Sue Inich, Bob Inich, Chip Daniel, Theresa Brue, Margot Savage.

My grandmother Myra Savage Edwards.

My uncle Martin Royce Savage.

My grandfather M.T. Savage.

Theresa and Sue.

My great grandparents Mattie Jones Savage and Thomas Halsell Savage.

My father's aunt and uncle Virgie Mae Savage and Martin Turner Savage.

General location in the cemetery.

My step-grandfather William J. Edwards.

His first wife Maxine T. Edwards

William J. Edward's father William R. Edwards.

William J. Edward's mother Ione F. Edwards

My  great grandmother Theresa Struble's brother and his wife: Warren Potter Allen and Gretchen Bacon Allen

My great great grandmother Myra Austin Allen

My great great grandfather Eben N. Allen.

My great grandparents Howard G. Struble and Theresa Allen Struble.