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Crystal Bridges

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Last year, my timing was great because I was at Crystal Bridges in time for the exhibit of the William S. Paley Collection 'A Taste for Modernism' and the Moshe Safdie 'Global Citizen' exhibit.

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Henri Matisse: Seated Woman with a Vase of Amaryllis
Henri Matisse: Seated Woman with a Vase of Amaryllis

Pierre-August Renoir: Strawberries
Pierre-August Renoir: Strawberries

Pierre-August Renoir: Strawberries

Max Weber: My Studio in Paris
Max Weber: My Studio in Paris

Crystal Bridges exhibit

Joan Miro: Figures and Star
Joan Miro: Figures and Star

Georges Rouault: Oasis
Georges Rouault: Oasis

Moshe Safdie:
Moshe Safdie: Crystal Bridges

Moshe Safdie

Moshe Safdie

Moshe Safdie

Moshe Safdie

Moshe Safdie

Moshe Safdie

Moshe Safdie

Deborah Butterfield: Redstick
Deborah Butterfield: Redstick

Norman Rockwell: Rosie the Riveter
Norman Rockwell: Rosie the Riveter

Asher Brown Durand: Kindred Spirits (the painting was sold by the New York Public Library by auction in 2005 to Alice Walton for a record-setting $35MM -- which set a record at the time for a painting by an American artist)
Asher Brown Durand: Kindred Spirits

Asher Brown Durand: Kindred Spirits

Maxfield Parrish: The Lantern Bearers
Maxfield Parrish: The Lantern Bearers

Maxfield Parrish: The Lantern Bearers

Marsden Hartley: Painting No. 3
Marsden Hartley: Painting No. 3

Mark Rothko: No. 210/211 (Orange)
Mark Rothko, No. 210/211 (orange)

Ray Lichtenstein: Standing Explosion
Roy Lichtenstein: Standing Explosion (Red)

Andy Warhol: Dolly Parton
Andy Warhol: Dolly Parton

John Baldessari: Beethoven's Trumpet (with ear)
John Baldessari: Beethoven's Trumpet (With Ear)

Nick Cave Soundsuit
Nick Cafe: Soundsuit

Nick Cafe: Soundsuit

And Jeff Koons' Hanging Heart at their restaurant, Eleven:
Jeff Koons: Hanging Heart


So not only was the museum impressive -- the architecture, the collection -- the WalMart Foundation makes it so that general admission is free (I have membership at Crystal Bridges, but still, very nice).
It's so easy for people to be dismissive of the museum...I've read critiques that the collection doesn't push the audience, or Alice Walton is rich and doesn't have great taste, how new acquisitions are kept secret (sigh), the list goes on... or when that isn't enough, attack (gah, I like Glasstire, but) even the region.  Or -- a curator left as he described NWA as 'the Afghanistan of curatorial posts.'  Is that kind of attitude really going to earn one sympathetic laughs or high-fives in galleries back East?  Weak.

This is just a terrible sort of unimaginative, tedious snobbery.  Elitists are boring.

Meanwhile, Crystal Bridges opened in November 2011 and this week celebrates its two millionth visitor.

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I missed 'State of the Art' but one of the great pieces included: Jonathan Schipper's 'Slow Room'


...and what to be excited about next? Their opening of the Bachman-Wilson Frank Lloyd Wright home.

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