Friday, October 2, 2015

A Visit To Crystal Bridges

This is a photo I took yesterday when we visited the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR. The Walton family--of Walmart fame--has given this gift to all who wish to come and visit. There is no charge to view the permanent exhibits. The traveling exhibits have a nominal charge.

We'd heard good reports about this museum so decided to make it a stop on our way home from Birmingham, AL. We were not disappointed. The grounds and its hiking trails and the building itself are also works of art. One by nature and the other by architect, Moshe Safdie. Checking the page on the Crystal Bridges website devoted to the architecture will allow you to see far better photos than the one I have posted here.

The permanent collection takes the viewer on a historical tour of art moving from early years of our country to present day. There are many outstanding sculptures as well as paintings, all of which are displayed to best advantage. Emotions rose to the surface for me many moments of our visit.

The Traveling Exhibit we were treated to showed the works of two well-known artists--Andy Warhol and Jamie Wyeth. We watched a tour guide explain one of the paintings in this exhibit to a group of school children. If we'd had more time, we might have learned a thing or two.

As we strolled from gallery to gallery and along the window-lined corridors, I could not help but admire the building, both inside and out. Magnificent almost seemed too small a word to describe it.

We visited the restaurant/coffee shop area and the Museum Shop, both of which were most appealing. The outdoor hiking trails beckoned but time did not allow us to traverse the paths to see the many sculptures along the trail.

This is a museum artists would love but is also appealing to the everyday people of all ages. Writers could get inspiration to write while there or later on. Go to the website to learn more. If you plan a visit, spending time at the website would help give a better appreciation than just dropping in.

There are a lot of people who snicker or make fun of Walmart but after seeing this rare museum, they might never do so again. Instead, they might like to write a thank you note to the Walton family.


  1. You said a mouthful and more, Nancy, and all of it on target. Do go back another time and do the hiking trails too. One experiences even more the magnificent vision or the planners and designers of this whole project in the way the museum's indoor venues are integrated with the outdoor areas. And all thanks to the Walton family, a family too often both laughed at and/or vilified. I for one am grateful for their gift and especially for their tribute to American art specifically.

    1. Gee, you make me want to hurry back and spend more time there. It really is a lovely, soul soothing place.

  2. Sounds like an interesting place to visit - both inside and out. Harriet