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.

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