Good Friday was my birthday, and my day off. We decided to take a day trip to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in nearby Bentonville, Arkansas. Just a two hour drive away. I've been eager to see the museum after reading an article titled Alices's Wonderland in the New Yorker last year about Alice Walton and her efforts to collect major works of American art and display them in a museum. There has been a lot of snooty snobbery going on because she has spent a lot of money and outbid other more established museums and how her late father's company is such a bad actor and so on. Me, I'm just glad that she built the museum, and it is only 96 miles from our house, as the crow flies, about 120 road miles.
The museum is huge but it doesn't look it. Instead of building it on a ridge they tucked it into a ravine. You take an elevator down from the parking area. The museum has aboutg 200,000 feet of space built around two ponds.
The interplay of water and light is mesmerizing. You certainly know that you are in a museum deep in the Ozarks. There are lots of overlooks into the water and the surrounding woods.
The structure is concrete, wood, copper, and glass. It is absolutely beautiful. You know something else, admission to the museum is free, parking is free also. Free is good. They may charge for special exhibits though.
The dining room, below is like a bridge between the two ponds.
Some people describe the structures as looking like armadillos. To me they are more like turtles on a log. I don't have a picture of a turtle on a log but here is a turtle.
The art, the art is breathtaking.
"The Art Student" by Thomas Eakins
"Rosie the Riveter" by Norman Rockwell - My Mom used to roll her cuffs like that.
"Red Flowers and a Sailboat" by Marsden Hartley
You can just get lost in the art. It is hard for me to just visit a museum once, especially one this size as the art just is so overpowering. Through repeated visits I can get over my ADD and focus and actually see the pieces. The first time, I'm worn out quickly but don't want to miss anything, so it is hard to SEE the art.
The museum also has about 120 acres of grounds with nice trails, many of them fully accessible winding through the ravine and surrounding woods.
It is a nice break from the museum.
My favorite tree, fortunately it is dead. Too bad.
See the bicycle? In a sculpture that looks like an apple tree.
A couple of my blog friends Driller and Tulsa Gentleman had previously visited the museum and took a lot better photographs than I could. Check out their blog posts.
We had a great time. We'd have an even better time except that the museum has geocaches on the property (now you understand my enthusiasm for the place.) I was closing in a cache and a wasp bit my hand. So we had to leave to get antihistamines and such.
It swelled up and hurt like nobody's business. At least I didn't have to go see my doctor and listen to witless Witney his 26 year old PA laugh at me and say, "What did you do this time?" I've had to see her three times for geocaching injuries and once for her favorite, playing too much Guitar Hero, where she had tears running down her face laughing. She'll have to get her kicks from somebody else this time. They don't understand the suffering I go through for my art.
We headed back into the sunset. Sweetie had to drive so I got to take pictures since I had a booboo.
We drove home and had some birthday cake! Sweetie baked the Pioneer Woman's birthday cake for me!! I think its time for a Sweetie - Pioneer Woman throwdown, don't you.
Our World Tuesday