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.
Henri Matisse: Seated Woman with a Vase of Amaryllis
Pierre-August Renoir: Strawberries
Max Weber: My Studio in Paris
Joan Miro: Figures and Star
Georges Rouault: Oasis
Deborah Butterfield: Redstick
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)
Maxfield Parrish: The Lantern Bearers
Marsden Hartley: Painting No. 3
Mark Rothko: No. 210/211 (Orange)
Ray Lichtenstein: Standing Explosion
Andy Warhol: Dolly Parton
John Baldessari: Beethoven’s Trumpet (with ear)
Nick Cave Soundsuit
And Jeff Koons’ Hanging Heart at their restaurant, Eleven:
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.
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.