The Crystal Bridges Museum of Art is more than I expected. While I expected to see great things, the assemblage of American Art is an outstanding achievement. Many of the paintings that line the walls of the Moshe Safdie-designed buildings are exceptional examples of works both of the period, and of the particular artist. That’s what I didn’t expect. I expected any collection spanning the history of American Art assembled recently would have a few landmark pieces, like Durand’s Kindred Spirits, and a lot of works by important artists that maybe aren’t so important. These are, after-all, hard things to collect, even with the power that comes with lots of money. There’s no want for quality, however.
I also didn’t expect the eye on contemporary to be so comprehensive. The works there are just as important and superb as those in the early -Victorian American galleries. And they’re all housed in a beautiful space. Yes, you have to go to Arkansas to see it, but it’s well-worth the effort.
In the coming posts we will relay information on our experience visiting this fine American collection.