Who says we can’t have nice things in Arkansas?

On Monday, the Husbear and I went to the new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art here in Bentonville.

For some reason it took years to build, but it finally opened on 11/11/11.

This is the entrance to the museum. There’s a large silver tree out front. The Husbear wants one now so that all his peacocks can hang around on it.


My apologies if the pictures are a little fuzzy. They were all taken with my iPhone 3GS’ camera.

I was definitely more intrigued by the building design than I was a majority of the art on exhibit.


Something about this building reminds me of a turtle shell:


And this one a rolly-polly or a centipede:


It will be interesting to see the grounds in a few years once everything has started to weather and loses that new construction feel.


The interior ceilings of the “bridges” are gorgeous to look at.


There are a lot of unusual shapes to be found in the museum.



This is the ceiling of the gift shop/museum store. I loved it more than anything. Each of those lines is actually a cut piece of plywood on edge. And the buckyball-esque light fixtures are incredible.


The museum has an interesting layout. In between each of the sections of galleries, there are small, comfortable libraries with books one can read. Some day I may just go back and park my butt down and read for a while.

Then there’s all the art. The museum has several galleries dedicated to different periods of time. But my favorite pieces ended up being in the Modern and Contemporary sections, which the Husbear loathed.

Here’s a few pieces I love.

Nam June Paik’s “John Cage Robot II “, 1995. It reminds me of something one would see at Burning Man. Or possibly at a Blue Man Group event. Who happen to be here this week. (*hint* *hint* Husbear!)


Norman Rockwell’s “Rosie the Riveter”, 1943:


Thomas Hart Benton’s “The Steel Mill”, 1930:


The Husbear staring at Neil G. Welliver’s “Snow on Alden Brook”, 1983:


Kara Walker’s “A Warm Summer Evening in 1863”, 2008:


It’s an interesting museum. If you’re ever in the area, it’s definitely worth the visit. The museum sits on some beautiful grounds that I can’t wait to see in the spring and summer.

Until next time...

14 thoughts on “Who says we can’t have nice things in Arkansas?

    1. The lynching picture is both disturbing and interesting all at the same time. And the colors and shapes in the steel mill painting draw me in, like much art deco styled pieces do.

  1. Way cool!

    I know you are from the South because you mentioned a ‘rolly-poly’. Yankees call them thangs “pillbugs” or “potato bugs”. I had never heard this until I went to college and was surrounded by a bunch of Yankees. Self-satisfied ones who thought “rolly-poly” was f*cking hilarious, quaint and hickish.

    I think it’s cute and describes the little critters exactly. And it’s what my Granddaddy called ’em, so self-satisfied folk can kiss my bohonkus.

  2. A monument to the Walmart fortune.

    I foresee a curatorial and maintenance nightmare. I believe that the site is at or near a natural spring. All that water around the buildings will only be OK until the barriers fail – and I think that they will eventually. When they do, I believe that they will prove to be difficult to access and repair and the collection will either be damaged or be removed to safekeeping and inaccessible. Of course, I would be extremely happy to be wrong about this.

  3. Fantastic looking place and I agree it’s going to be beautiful in the spring and summer. Just don’t sit under that lightening rod tree if it’s cloudy or if there’s any chance of rain. It’s pretty, but that’s some scurry shit right there.

    1. Ohh… I hadn’t even thought of it as a lightning rod. Maybe it’s designed specifically for that purpose. And to power some super-secret lab hiding underneath it.

  4. I really do need to get back to Bentonville now that the museum is finally open. It seems like it’s been planned for ages, as I was seeing exhibits promoting Crystal Bridges years ago when I was working in the city.

    1. It had a very sporadic time of coming to life, it would seem. I feel like it’s been being built for years. Which I guess technically it has.

      Maybe they’ll build a Hard Rock at it, and give you twice as many reasons to come back! 😉

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