Crystal Bridges Art Museum

A Sparkling Crystal In The Ozarks

Eight years ago I was stunned by a piece of art entitled “The Ghost Clock” by Wendell Castle. It was on display at The Smithsonian Renwick Art Gallery in Washington, D.C.

At first glance, and even after careful inspection, The Ghost Clock appeared to be a white sheet draped over a grandfather clock. Intentionally designed to be visually deceiving, the entire sculpture was meticulously carved from one piece of mahogany in exquisite detail.

architecture of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
The architecture of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas creates a magnificent backdrop for the the art.

In addition to the Renwick Gallery, having experienced The Louvre in Paris and The Metropolitan in New York, I was somewhat reluctant to visit an art museum in the foothills of the Ozarks in northwest Arkansas. I became intrigued when I arrived on a weekday and had to park in the overflow section, as the primary parking was full.

Art taught me history in a way that I had never learned it before, and it brought the story of our country to life. I wanted to share that opportunity with others.

Alice Walton, Founder Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

I was more than pleasantly surprised, The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is an absolute gem. The combination of art, architecture and nature provide an inviting and entertaining experience. The flow of the museum follows the history of art in America and tells quite a story.

I believe that in the search for the answer lies the answer.

Frank Lloyd Wright
Painting - 42nd Street by Theodore Roszak in 1936.
42nd Street by Theodore Roszak in 1936.
Art - Black Balloon by Gene Davis
Black Balloon by Gene Davis in 1964, who states: “There is no simpler way to divide a canvas than with straight lines, at equal intervals. This enables the viewer to forget the structure and see the color itself.

The museum was founded by Alice Walton, who shared an appreciation of art with her mother, Helen Walton, wife of Walmart and Sam’s Club founder Sam Walton. I discovered an interesting side-note: Helen Robson Walton was born in Claremore, Oklahoma, where I recently visited the Will Rogers Memorial Museum.

It’s not what you gather in life, but what you scatter in life, that tells the kind of life you have lived.

Helen Walton, wife of WalMart and Sam’s Club founder Sam Walton

A new addition in just the last few weeks, the Kusama Infinity Mirrored Room was fascinating. A room that utilizes mirrors to create the illusion of infinity. Lighted hanging paper lights change color and go on forever in all directions.

A Frank Lloyd Wright designed house resides on the 120 acres of Crystal Bridges. Originally built in 1956 along the Millstone River in New Jersey, it was restored and relocated. Every component of the house was taken apart, labeled and moved to the Crystal Bridges Museum property where it was reconstructed in 2015.

Several miles of nature trails that also incorporate outdoor art into the experience meander through the grounds surrounding Crystal Bridges.

Frank Lloyd Wright designed house from 1956
Frank Lloyd Wright designed house from 1956.

Thanks to Walmart for sponsoring everyone’s admission – always. The museum is free! The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas averages 1,000 visitors each weekday and about 2,000 per day on weekends.

Truly a sparkling crystal in the foothills of the Ozarks.

Brad Saum in the  the Kusama Infinity Mirrored Room.
Brad Saum in the the Kusama Infinity Mirrored Room.

RVing Revealed

Brad Saum at Renwick Art Gallery in Washington DC with The Ghost Clock
“The Ghost Clock” by Wendell Castle., along with my two kids, Loni and Landon some ten years ago at the Smithsonian Renwick Art Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Join me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter!