I have been anxious to see the new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in the heart of the Ozarks ever since it opened a couple of years ago.
Not only is the art collection supposed to be magnificent, but the architecture and nature scape of the complex has been reported as stellar.
This week I got my chance.
On our way to Texas to see My Beloved Brit’s ex-pat niece play tennis, we detoured to Bentonville, Arkansas to see Crystal Bridges, founded by the daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, Alice Walton. It was officially opened on the 11th of November 2011. It is the first major museum to open in the United States since 1974. Over $317 million of the project’s cost has been donated by Alice Walton.
Nested into a natural ravine in the middle of a forest, the complex was designed by architect Moshe Safdie “…to both complement and counterpoint the surrounding landscape.”
The springwater of the stream actually runs around and through the glass and copper bridges that stretch over the ponds. Lovely.
The Crystal Bridges art collection spans the many decades of American art, offering an expansive overview of masters as well as lesser-known works from the Colonial era to contemporary work.
There were many wonderful surprises. I really loved the balance and scope of the collection.
It really does have a nice range of some of the very best artists in America. Very impressive considering how new the museum is.
Quite a day and worth the detour.
I saw pieces I had never seen before, yet felt so familiar, like Will Barnet’s…
All photos by me.