Artful Weekend:

Over the River and Through the Woods to Crystal Bridges We Go

Catherine D. Anspon
August 09, 2013

It wouldn’t be summer without a road trip, especially of an art bent. In that direction, we heartily recommend Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, Bentonville, Arkansas as worth a drive from anywhere. After a recent visit, I serendipitously had coffee a week later in Houston with director Don Bacigalupi (a pal from the days when he headed up Blaffer Art Museum) and new hire, promising curator Chad Alligood. The pair is traveling heavily in Texas, readying for a massive survey of American art set to open Fall 2014 that promises to best the Whitney Biennial. Stay tuned for unfolding details.

    And yes, Crystal Bridges is extraordinary, comparable to the Guggenheim Bilbao in terms of being true pilgrimage material. From the dramatic, organically inclined Moshe Safdie architecture, so sensitively sited upon a natural spring, to the all-star collection —tip-top treasures spanning four centuries of American art (including the defining mid-19th century painting of the Hudson River School), fleshed out by some fascinating underknowns who illuminate the American character— this is a museum of breadth and astounding depth we can’t wait to return to. We’ll be making reservations, as soon as deadlines abate, at 21c Museum Hotel, new to Bentonville as of this spring, for another Crystal Bridges close encounter.