Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Last week, Meghan accompanied me to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Our weather lately has been anything but sunny days and blue skies (even as I write this it’s pouring down rain outside) so I thought having an indoor adventure would be the best way to spend a non-errand running, non-housework day.

First, a little bit of information about the museum, which was founded by the Walton Family Foundation in 2005, if you’re not already familiar with the facility:

“The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature.

Crystal Bridges takes its name from a nearby natural spring and the bridge construction incorporated in the building, designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. A series of pavilions nestled around two spring-fed ponds house galleries, meeting and classroom spaces, and a large, glass-enclosed gathering hall. Guest amenities include a restaurant on a glass-enclosed bridge overlooking the ponds, a Museum Store designed by architect Marlon Blackwell, and a library featuring more than 50,000 volumes of art reference material. Sculpture and walking trails link the Museum's 120-acre park to downtown Bentonville, Arkansas.

Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection spans five centuries of American masterworks ranging from the Colonial era to the current day. Included within the collection are iconic images such as Asher B. Durand’s Kindred Spirits, Norman Rockwell’s  Rosie the Riveter, and Andy Warhol’s Coca-Cola [3]— each reflecting a distinct moment in American artistic evolution—as well as major works by modern and contemporary American artists, including Georgia O’Keeffe, John Baldessari, and James Turrell. The permanent collection, which continues to grow through a strategic acquisition plan, is on view year-round and is enhanced by an array of temporary exhibitions.” - - - - from the Crystal Bridges website

The exhibit that caught my eye right off the bat was a series of wet-collodion photos made by the Navajo photographer, Will Wilson. The subjects are modern, but the faces are of that of another era.

We dutifully looked at all the traditional artwork . . .

. . . but spent the majority of our time in the modern art gallery. I’m not a big fan of modern art (not enough shadow play), but seeing so much color on such a gloomy day was refreshing, if not a little dizzying

My little storm trooper even got a little culture.

Self-portrait in chain mail.


After spending an hour wandering aroud the various hallways and galleries, Meghan and I ventured outside to tour the vast geometric dome that’s part of the art museum. I didn’t have a wide enough lens with me, but I managed the best I could with the one I had. Meghan was smart: she just used her phone.

This past weekend, the museum opened up a new exhibit, “Men of Steel, Women of Wonder”.

You can bet that I’ll go back for that!

Beginning a brand new blog is a little like beginning a brand new journal. There is so much newness to conquer, so much white space that I get to fill with words and  pictures, that it can feel  a little intimidating. I want to fill this blog with stories of my excursions, my adventures and the mounatin races that David and I cover.  And maybe throw in a few photography tidbits along the way.  Here we go . . . .