Crystal Bridges–Sm(Art) Money

My buddy, Lee (who I’ve known since nursery school) escorted Leah and me to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, his local art museum in Bentonville, AR. Imagine, a world class museum in the midst of a population center of 50,000, courtesy of Alice Walton, heiress to the Walmart fortune.

Alice assigned renowned architect, Moshe Safdie to design a space, anchored by ponds and forest using generous amounts of glass and wood.

The 217,000 sq. ft. complex includes a sculpture garden,

galleries galore,

and a restaurant named Eleven, to commemorate the day the museum opened (11/11/11). And admission is free!

It quickly became apparent that there was so much to see that we could have easily spent days walking through the wings, just to take it all in; it was overwhelming. And some of the rooms had walls that were tiered with art from floor to ceiling. It’s no surprise that museum officials have recently announced plans to increase gallery space by an additional 100,000 sq. ft.

Wanting to see as much of the space as possible, we quickly steered through the exhibition halls looking and reflecting, before moving on to the next art moment. However, some of the art that caught my eye has been curated for this post (in no particular order).

As much as I enjoyed documenting the paintings, collages and sculptures within the museum, I found it impossible to ignore the fantastic geometry that surrounded us that was equally worthy of photographing, like the echo dome in the museum vestibule…

or the Fuller dome in the garden…

But the final shape I reserve for Lee and Deb for their Arkansas hospitality.