Monday, November 14, 2011

crystal bridges museum of american art

interior courtyard at night, crystal bridges museum

this past weekend rich granted me a reprieve to go to the opening of the crystal bridges museum of american art in bentonville, arkansas. i'd been excited about this institution since i first heard of it; i was thrilled to actually get tickets and go see it in all its inaugural glory. i have to say: it did not disappoint in the slightest. it was beautifully designed by moshe safdie with a comprehensive american art collection put together, largely, by alice walton; it is the louvre of the ozarks. more than 50% of the collection is on view (but almost 100% of the paintings--i asked about this because most museums are only to show about 10% of their total collection). i actually went twice: first on 11/11/11, opening night, to get a general glimpse of everything, then the next day to really spend some concentrated time on the work.

and it was a flippin' joy to actually get to use my ph.d. for something, even if the museum is judd-free...

entrance and aluminum tree

this is what you see from street-level, before descending the pathway to the entrance

rooftop garden sproutlings (this is located on top of the gift shop, which you do not have to walk through to exit the museum)

interior at night, in the dining area

hallway between museum offices and "wonder world" exhibition space

detail, vaulted ceilings--these were made of pressed native arkansas pine and shaped to make ribs spanning the width of the wing

interior courtyard by daylight


this was tremendous, and definitely one of my favorites: devorah sperber's "after the last supper," 2005. it is made from ball chain (like what you find on a ceiling fan) and 20,736 spools of thread...and a sphere on a viewing stand. amazing.

another view of "after the last supper"

detail of the viewing sphere (image is righted by the curvature of the glass)

detail of christ, made entirely out of spools of thread. loved it long time.

"rosie the riveter," by norman rockwell. check out the copy of "mein kampf" she's got her foot on.

lovely little (yes, it is actually small) o'keeffe, "evening star VII"

josef albers, "homage to the square," 1964. LOVE this. this was about as minimal as the collection got, and it's not technically minimalism, but it's a masterpiece nonetheless.

intriguing copley portrait, not for the woman portrayed...

...but for her pet flying squirrel. it's rocky before he (she?) found bullwinkle.

gilbert stuart's "george washington"--this is one of the paintings east coast critics were complaining about losing to arkansas

a swath of abstract expressionism by adolf gottlieb

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