Monday, February 6, 2012

Crystal Bridges

Untitled - 1964
The end of the year is particularly busy and hectic for my husband and I. He does inventory and I work a retail job, need I say more? So we decided that we needed to take the time and get out of town, even if it was just an overnight trip. We brainstormed various places that are within driving distance and hatched a plan. When he mentioned a new museum in Arkansas (a state I have only driven through), we had our answer.
Ceiling Detail
We visited Crystal Bridges, a fantastic American Art Museum, in Bentonville, Arkansas and it was worth the trip. The architecture takes clues from the landscape and is literal and metaphoric bridges to the geography around it. Interaction with the building is as much of the experience as viewing the art inside it. There are several trails around the perimeter of the museum and they are easy to walk. We were lucky that the weather was cooperative, a little chilly, but not raining or snowing. The architect, Moshe Safdie, constructed the building in the manner of a suspension bridge with ponds, created from the area's Crystal Springs, surrounding the building. They were having some sort of issue with the ponds when we were there and they were drained. I can imagine it is quite beautiful when the ponds are full.
The collection of American Art is impressive and manageable for a single visit. My favorite pieces included: Jasper Johns' "Alphabets" and Leon Polk Smith's, "Center Column Blue and White" and "New Moon For August". I am totally in awe of Smith's work. I spent several hours looking at his work and think I have found my new muse. I already have plans to create my own Center Column piece in quilt format.
Center Column Blue and White - 1947
New Moon for August - 1983
Other noteworthy work includes: Nick Cave's sound suits and Norman Rockwell's Rosie the Riveter.
 Sound Suit - 2010
Rosie the Riveter - 1943
The entire experience merged my love of architecture, interiors, textiles and sewing. From Devorah Sperber's "After The Last Supper", constructed from 20,736 spools of thread hanging on ball chains to Alison Elizabeth Taylor's "Room" made of wood inlay including over 250 species of wood! I was also intrigued by the shading mechanism used on the dining bridge. These fabric screens emerge from the floor to cover the southern exposed glass walls.
Through Glass Sphere
Detail Cash Register
Recessed Shades


  1. Looks fascinating and inspiring. Thanks for the wonderful photos.

  2. I've heard such wonderful things about this place! I'm planning a trip to Fayetteville later this month and I hope to have a chance to see it.

  3. Sounds like you had a fun trip! That thread spool piece is amazing! :)