Unless you live in a vacuum you've heard of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. A world class art gallery in the Arkansas Ozarks.
Foundress, Alice Walton, daughter of Sam, who founded Wal-Mart and Sam's, founded the museum in 2005. The museum itself was opened to the public in November 2011.
Crystal Bridges has always been controversial --
The East Coasters and West Coasters feel that a museum of this quality should not be in a small Arkansas town best known for the place where America's largest retailer got it's start.
That Alice Walton could (and did) buy at any cost whatever she wanted to fill the museum.
The architecture of the museum. It's nestled in a "holler" and spans two man made ponds which are fed by the Crystal creek (from which the museum gets it's name).
Even the name is somewhat controversial for some feel that the name implies that it is a religious entity with a charismatic leader.
But if you get to Bentonville, you must see Crystal Bridges . . .
|The museum, unlike city museums, is nestled in nature.|
The water over which the gallery "floats"
|A "bridge" overlooking a pond fed by the "Crystal" River.|
With walls of glass that "bridge" each of the galleries.
|Loved the views from the windows.|
And give good views of the sculpture garden outside.
|The portraits were interesting for that was the only "picture" one had of one's loved ones.|
It is a first class gallery, filled with American paintings. The "hall of portraits" is the first room that you enter.
|Gilbert Stuart and George Washington -- need I say more?|
How often to you see a Gilbert Stuart George Washington? I saw the famous one in the White House but this painting was awesome as well.
|Can you believe something so beautiful could cause so much "hub bub"?|
The most controversial painting in the gallery is Kindred Spirits by Asher Durand. Bought from the New York Public Library for 35 Million Dollars, infuriating galleries on both coasts but especially those in New York who felt -- firstly, that the Library should not have sold the painting but if it did, it needed to stay in New York.
However, an Arkansawer (albeit a very rich one) outbid them and to Arkansas this wonderful painting came.
But it's not just about paintings . . .
|Modern and Pop Art is not my favorite but I do enjoy looking at it in galleries -- it would not be a choice to live at Linderhof!|
For there is sculpture and some whimsey in the museum. Love this piece made out of doilies and old jack in the boxes.
And my favorite . . .
|The Museum Store didn't even have a copy of this to sell!|
This picture by John Taylor. I think it would look very good at Linderhof!
If you are in the area (southeaster Kansas, southwestern Missouri, northeastern Oklahoma or northwestern Arkansas) do stop by Crystal Bridges. If you take a trip to Branson, Bentonville is not that far away. And you'll be glad that you stopped by the museum.
There is a wonderful lunch place, Eleven. We had eaten before we came but I will make sure that the next time I come (and there will be a next time) that I'll plan the visit around lunch.