Crystal Bridges, the world-class art museum founded by Alice Walton, is tucked into a wooded area on the northern edge of Bentonville, in the northwest corner of Arkansas. The museum’s name derives from the architecture of the building, designed by Moshe Safdie, with floor to ceiling windowed connecting sections of the building bridging waters that surround the structure. The museum focuses exclusively on American art, dating back to the earliest settlers in New England. The permanent galleries of the museum flow in a counter clock-wise direction from the main lobby, with the the first gallery dedicated to Colonial to Early Nineteenth-Century Art, the next gallery displays Late Nineteenth- Century Art, followed by a gallery with Early Twentieth-Century Art, and finally the Twentieth-Century Art gallery.
We arrived at the museum about 10:00 am on a Friday and spent the next four hours making our way through the galleries. It was truly amazing, but much too much to take in on a single day. By just past 2:00, we were very weary and about 10 minutes too late to each lunch in the lovely all-glass Eleven Restaurant. Next time we visit the museum, we will take periodic breaks so we can better enjoy the wonderful art.
Art savored in person is so much better than art viewed through other’s photos, but here are a few lovely and interesting examples from the collections to motivate you to take a trip to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
(Featured image, above, Wild Turkey Cock, Hen and Young, by John James Audubon, 1826, oil on canvas.)