CRYSTAL BRIDGES MEMBER MAGAZINE
1 III VOL VI ISSUE
N E X T G E N E R AT I O N F U N D
Windgate Charitable Foundation Doug and Shelley McMillon
Jack and Melba Shewmaker Family
Paul and June Carter Family Pamela and Wayne Garrison Kay and Ellis Melton The J.M. Smucker Company
Reed and Mary Ann Greenwood
G L O B A L I N I T I AT I V E F U N D Chuck and Terri Erwin
Reed and Mary Ann Greenwood
Stella Boyle Smith Trust
Harriet and Warren Stephens
Avant Mining, LLC
James Dyke and Helen Porter
Constance R. Caplan
David Yurman Enterprises
Bob and Marilyn Bogle
John and Christy Mack
Pamela and Wayne Garrison
Thomas Lon Smith
Loreen Arbus Acorn: The Infulence Company Becky and Bob Alexander Paul M. Angell Family Foundation Neff and Scarlett Basore Robert and Nancy Brooks Ken and Liz Allen Adair Creative Studio AMP Sign and Banner Arkansas Community Foundation Arkansas Humanities Council Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. Arts Consulting Group Arvest Bank Avis Bailey Frank and Pat Bailey Bank of America Bentonville Film Festival Blakemanâ€™s Fine Jewelry Blue Rhino James and Emily Bost Rosalind and John Brewer Lynn and Joel Carver Chip and Susan Chambers Rick and Beverly Chapman
Colgate-Palmolive ConAgra Foods Terri and Chuck Erwin Georgeâ€™s Greenwood Gearhart Inc.
The Murphy Foundation
Galen, Debi, and Alice Havner Terra Foundation for American Art Univision Arkansas KFSM TV-CBS William Reese Company Kimberly-Clark Forrest and Charlotte Lucas Mitchell Williams
Harry and Erin Cornell Consulate of Mexico in Little Rock Daisy Outdoor Products David and Cathy Evans Family Ferguson Immigration Law Rui J.P. de Figueiredo Jr. a nd Natalia Ferretti Flintco Cindy Flynt Walters and Betty Flynt Harrison and Rhonda French Family Denise and Hershey Garner David and Jane Gearhart Gelmart International General Mills Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla Arts Foundation Hearne Fine Art Charles and Shannon Holley Hola! Media Group HOWSE inVeritas
J.P. Morgan Johnson & Johnson Just-Us Printers Randy and Valorie Lawson/Lawco Energy Group Donna and Mack McLarty MillerCoors Moon Distributors, Inc. Morris Foundation, Inc. Nice-Pak Products, Inc. Nickelodeon Northwest Arkansas Naturals Onyx Coffee Lab Philander Smith College Pinnacle Car Services Premier Dermatology & Skin Renewal Center Procter & Gamble Sue and Charles Redfield
Roblee Orthodontics Frank and Ludmila Robson Rockline Industries JT and Imelda Rose Dennis and Evelyn Shaw Esther Silver-Parker Mark and Diane Simmons C haritable Fund Steinway & Sons Tartaglino Richards Family Foundation The Hershey Company The Segal Family Foundation The William M. Fuller Foundation Demara Titzer Jim and Susan von Gremp U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management Wright Lindsey Jennings Deborah Wright Felix and Margaret Wright
COVER: Dawoud Bey, A Boy in front of the Loew’s 125th Street Movie Theater, 1976, printed by 1979, gelatin silver print on paper, 9 x 6 1/8 in. The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago. Promised gift of Bruce and Vicki Adams. © Dawoud Bey. Courtesy of Stephen Dailes Gallery. THIS PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Richard Misrach, Wall, Tierra del Sol, California, 2014, pigment print, 60 × 80 in. © Richard Misrach, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York, and Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles. Nari Ward, image courtesy of artist. Barkley L. Hendricks, What’s Going On, 1975, oil, acrylic, and magna on cotton canvas, 65 3/4 x 83 3/4 in. Megan and Hunter Gray. © Estate of Barkley L. Hendricks. Courtesy of the artist’s estate and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.
CRYSTAL BRIDGES MEMBER MAGAZINE
FEATURED IN SOUL OF A NATION
A PEEK AT THE REIMAGINED EARLY AMERICAN GALLERIES
WE THE PEOPLE
A CONVERSATION WITH NARI WARD
A FRESH FACE
VOL VI ISSUE III
C MAGAZINE IS THE MEMBERSHIP PUBLICATION FOR CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART.
Member Priority Line: 479.418.5728 MON • TUE • 8 am to 5 pm WED • THU • FRI 8 am to 9 pm SAT • SUN 10 am to 4 pm
Purchase gift memberships with a 10% discount at CrystalBridges.org/Membership.
ACQUISITIONS + NEW ON VIEW
TRAILS + GROUNDS
A CLOSER LOOK
WE THINK OF MUSEUMS AS “BRAVE SPACES” WHERE OPEN CONVERSATIONS ARE ENCOURAGED ABOUT SUBJECTS THAT MAY CHALLENGE OUR WAY OF THINKING.
IN THE YEAR AHEAD,
Crystal Bridges will offer multiple opportunities for members to embrace new experiences and see things from a new point of view. Just look at our roster of upcoming exhibitions (pg. 3) and you’ll see that our museum is premiering two large-scale traveling exhibitions created and organized by our own curators that will offer fresh perspectives on American art. The first offers a new way of looking at and thinking about the legacy of Georgia O’Keeffe and the emerging artists who are continuing the artistic conversation around the themes and subjects that were central to her work. The second will focus on Native American contemporary art and challenge the way we think about the role of Indigenous artists in the history of art in North America. We will also be examining American culture through the lens of African American artists with Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, a highly regarded exhibition developed by the Tate Modern in London. In the year ahead, we will begin development of another new brave space: the Momentary, an innovative contem-
porary art venue. This new project promises plenty of opportunities to bring people together to enjoy art experiences including visual and performing art, culinary offerings, and more. In addition, 2018 will bring you brand new perspectives on Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection through a complete re-imagining and installation of the colonial and nineteenth-century art galleries (read more on page 22), plus new art experiences on the museum’s trails with the installation of multiple outdoor artworks. Your membership gives you the chance to experience these brave spaces first and to come back often. Thank you for joining us! LINDA DEBERRY SENIOR EDITOR
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CHIEF DIVERSITY + INCLUSION OFFICER
Rod Bigelow DEPUTY DIRECTOR
Sandy Edwards CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER
Jill Wagar DIRECTOR OF CURATORIAL AFFAIRS + STRATEGIC ART INITIATIVES
Margi Conrads DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
Diane Carroll SENIOR EDITOR
Linda DeBerry CREATIVE SERVICES MANAGER
Anna Vernon LEAD DESIGNER
Laura Hicklin CONTRIBUTORS
Amalia Amaki Alejo Benedetti Mindy Besaw Linda DeBerry Alison Demorotski Emily Hanna Lauren Haynes Emily Ironside Daniel Sutherland Dylan Turk EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
Alison Nation PHOTOGRAPHY
Marc Henning Stephen Ironside Dero Sanford MEMBERSHIP + DEVELOPMENT
Ana Aguayo Robyn Alley Hannah Brown Jodi Burks Brandi Cline Angela Hodges Emily Ironside Anne Jackson Megan Martin Kaylin Mason Ashley Wardlow
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FROM LEFT: Betye Saar, Eye, 1972, painted leather, 8.5 x 13.75 x 5 in. Collection of Sheila Silber and David Limburger. Courtesy of the artist and Robert X Tilton, Los Angeles, California. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer. Sharona Eliassaf, Stars to Dust, Dust to Stars, 2016, oil and spray on canvas, 63 x 79 in. Fitz Scholder, Monster Indian, 1968, oil on canvas, 18 x 20 in. Collection of Anne and Loren Kieve. Image courtesy of Denver Art Museum.
DON’T MISS IN 2018 AN INTERNATIONAL HIT + TWO CRYSTAL BRIDGES ORIGINALS
SOUL OF A NATION: ART IN THE AGE OF BLACK POWER FEB 3 – APR 23, 2018 Soul of a Nation shines a bright light on the vital contribution of Black artists to a dramatic period in American art and history. Featuring the work of 60 artists and including vibrant paintings, powerful murals, street photography, collage, and more, this landmark exhibition is a rare opportunity to see era-defining artworks that changed the face of art in America. Developed by the Tate Modern in London and debuting in the US at Crystal Bridges, Soul of a Nation examines the influences—from the civil rights movement to Minimalism and abstraction—that inspired artists such as Romare Bearden, Noah Purifoy, Martin Puryear, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Alma Thomas, Charles White, and William T. Williams. This exhibition is organized by Tate Modern in collaboration with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, and Brooklyn Museum, New York. Curated by Lauren Haynes, Crystal Bridges Curator, Contemporary Art; and from the Tate Modern: Mark Godfrey, Senior Curator, International Art, and Zoe Whitley, Curator, International Art. Sponsored at Crystal Bridges in part by Hearne Fine Art, Philander Smith College, Esther Silver-Parker, Deborah Wright, and James and Emily Bost.
Member Preview: Friday, February 2, 11 am to 9 pm
GEORGIA O’KEEFFE + CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS (WORKING TITLE) MAY 26 – SEP 3, 2018 Crystal Bridges brings together more than two dozen of Georgia O’Keeffe’s most important works as the centerpiece of this unique exhibition. Alongside these are the works of a select group of emerging artists that investigate and expand on O’Keeffe’s artistic legacy through themes such as floral and feminine forms, city and landscapes, and the delicate interplay between realism and abstraction. The exhibition demonstrates the continuing power of O’Keeffe’s work as a touchstone for contemporary art. This exhibition is organized by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and was curated by Lauren Haynes, Curator of Contemporary Art, Crystal Bridges; and Chad Alligood, Chief Curator of American Art, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Sponsored at Crystal Bridges in part by Helen Porter, Coca-Cola, Stout Executive Search, Chuck and Terri Irwin Household, David and Cathy Evans, Blakeman’s Fine Jewelry, Jim and Susan von Gremp, and Morris Foundation, Inc.
Member Preview: Friday, May 25, 11 am to 9 pm
NATIVE NORTH AMERICA (WORKING TITLE) OCT 6, 2018 – JAN 7, 2019 Organized by Crystal Bridges, this is the first exhibition to chart the history of contemporary Indigenous art from the United States and Canada. Featuring some 75 artworks by the most important Native American artists from the 1960s to today, this unprecedented exhibition challenges historical assumptions and biases about Indigenous artwork and enriches our understanding of contemporary American art. Native North America is organized by Crystal Bridges, and curated by guest curator Candice Hopkins (Tlingit, citizen of Carcross/Tagish First Nation), Crystal Bridges Curator of American Art, Mindy Besaw, and Manuela Well-Off-Man, Chief Curator at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Member Preview: Friday, October 5, 11 am to 9 pm
10 TIPS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR MEMBERSHIP You already know Crystal Bridges members get free entry to all temporary exhibitions and discounts on museum programs and in the Museum Store. But there are more ways membership makes your visits to Crystal Bridges easy, engaging, and fun! Here are some tips on how to get the most of your membership. * Remember, your tax-deductible membership provides vital support to Crystal Bridges exhibitions and offerings, including our programs that expand access to the museum for guests with disabilities.
2. BEAT THE CROWDS Each exhibition features a members-only preview period—usually the Friday prior to a Saturday public opening—when members can view the exhibition exclusively all day long. Register early for your free tickets to this special viewing and be among the first to see the museum’s new exhibitions!
1. MAKE SURE WE HAVE YOUR EMAIL Early ticket sales for exhibitions and some programs, such as our Distinguished Speaker series, are announced to members via our Members Extra eNewsletter, which is also used to announce special limitedcapacity members-only programs. Some of these dates are not included in the printed calendar. Be sure you are receiving this information-packed eNewsletter each month. If you haven’t seen it, or would like to add an additional email, give our Member Priority Line a call, or email your name and email address to membership@ crystalbridges.org, and we will update our records with your current information. That way, you’ll be in the know and won’t miss a thing!
QUESTIONS? NEED RESERVATIONS, GUEST PASSES, OR TICKETS? CALL OUR MEMBER PRIORITY LINE: 479.418.5728!
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power Member Preview: Friday, February 2, 11 am to 9 pm Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Artists Member Preview: Friday, May 25, 11 am to 9 pm Native North America Member Preview: Friday, October 5, 11 am to 9 pm
3. ARTINFUSION If you’re a party-goer, or want to get more deeply involved with art in our region, consider joining Artinfusion, Crystal Bridges affinity group for members ages 21 to 40s. In addition to studio visits with regional artists and fun, informal learning and social events, Artinfusion members receive free admission to Crystal Bridges’ annual signature parties: Halloween in the Hollow, Black Heart’s Ball, and Summer Fling. (Artinfusion memberships also make great gifts for the Millenials on your shopping list!)
5. GET TICKETS FOR YOUR FRIENDS Your membership provides a limited number of free guest passes to each exhibition, which you can share with nonmember friends or family (the number of tickets depends on your level of membership). Guest passes can be used at the member previews, too! To reserve your guest passes, call the Member Priority Line or inquire at Guest Services.
4. DISCOUNTS GALORE! Members receive a 10% discount in the Museum Store.* Plus, twice a year, the Store offers several days of double discounts, giving you 20% off your purchases. Watch your Members Extra eNewsletter and the printed calendar for details. (*Chihuly Studio editions and works by regional artists excepted.)
6. LEARN SOMETHING NEW Take advantage of your 20% discount on studio classes to explore a new artmaking technique in a one-night class, or hone your artistic skills in an intensive multi-day Studio workshop series. Classes sometimes fill quickly, so watch your member eNews to get early notification of registration openings.
7. MEMBER MINGLES + SCOOPS Many guest speakers participate in a short mingle with museum members prior to their public presentations. These intimate events give you a chance to interact one-onone with our speakers and visiting artists, as well as other members. In addition, Member Scoops are special programs for members only that offer a look behind the scenes at the work of the museum!
8. GO TO THE FRONT OF THE LINE
10. ENJOY MEMBER BENEFITS EVERYWHERE
As a member, you can receive faster service at the Guest Services desk in the main lobby and during lunch service in Eleven, the museum restaurant, by using the special members-only line.
Crystal Bridges members at the $250 level and above receive complimentary membership in the North American Reciprocal Museum Association (NARM), which affords membership benefits at more than 900 museums and cultural institutions across North America! To see a list of participating institutions, visit narmassociation.org.
9. SHARE YOUR MUSEUM Members save 10% on the purchase of gift memberships for others, so you can treat a friend or family member to a membership for less and you can enjoy your member benefits together! Purchase a gift membership at Guest Services or by calling our Member Priority Line.
OPPOSITE PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Dale Chihuly, Fiori Boat, 2016, 6 x 22 1/2 x 12’. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, installed 2017. © Chihuly Studio. Photo by Scott Mitchell Leen. Norman Rockwell, Rosie the Riveter, 1943, oil on canvas, 52 x 40 in. Photo by Dwight Primiano. Asher Brown Durand, Kindred Spirits, 1849, oil on canvas. Photo by Metropolitan Museum of Art.
PRESENTING: THE MOMENTARY AUGUST,
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to develop the Momentary as the younger sibling to Crystal Bridges. We will share the museum’s welcoming spirit while exploring our own unique identity and role” says Bertels.
“ The Momentary will be a
place for artistic discovery where it’s not about what you knew when you came in, but what you take home from your experience.
Crystal Bridges announced the appointment of Lieven Bertels as director of its innovative arts venue under d e v e lo p m e n t in downtown Bentonville. The venue, newly named the Momentary™, is an adaptive reuse project that will transform a decommissioned Kraft Foods plant south of Crystal Bridges into a multi-disciplinary space for visual and performing arts and an artist-in-residency program. Bertels joined the Crystal Bridges leadership team in late September. He comes to Crystal Bridges with a history of success in planning artistic festivals at locations around the world. Prior to joining the Crystal Bridges team, he was the CEO and cultural director of Leeuwarden-Fryslân 2018 European Capital of Culture, a year-long festival in the Netherlands focusing on the arts in a rural context. He has also been instrumental to the success of the Sydney Festival in Australia, and the Holland Festival in Amsterdam, The Netherlands’ oldest and largest arts festival. From 2010 to 2016 he served on the board of directors of the International Society for the Performing Arts in New York.
“We will aim to be an international destination, demonstrating how contemporary American art and artists intersect with daily life around the globe. The venue will push boundaries of creativity, blur urban and rural lines, and provide access to arts-based culinary and social experiences. This is a truly exciting project not just for the region but for arts communities at large,” continued Bertels. The Momentary is currently in the design development phase. The site work is scheduled for early 2018, followed by improvements and landscaping beginning in late 2018, with a goal of opening in early 2020.
CHIHULY ATTENDANCE SETS RECORDS CHIHULY: IN THE GALLERY AND IN THE FOREST welcomed more than 125,000 visitors during its 10-week installation at Crystal Bridges (June 3 – August 14). Chihuly: In the Forest continued on until November 27, welcoming an additional 75,000+ visitors. This attendance tops the previous record of 175,000 visitors who attended State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now in 2014-2015. The show also helped to raise our membership numbers to more than 14,700 households. We are grateful to our members—both new and established—who joined us for this remarkable exhibition. We look forward to another terrific year together.
THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN! CHIHULY’S FIORI BOAT WINS POPULAR VOTE DALE CHIHULY’S FIORI BOAT was added to the museum’s permanent collection after it won a public vote among four Chihuly artworks that were considered. The Boat received more than 7,900 votes out of some 20,000 votes cast. It will soon be reinstalled in a new location at the museum.
TWO OF OUR VISITORS’ FAVORITE ARTWORKS from the Crystal Bridges collection will be removed from our galleries this spring in order to tour with traveling exhibitions.
Asher B. Durand’s Kindred Spirits will be on loan for the first time to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City from January through June, and then to the National Gallery in London through November, 2018. In addition, Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter will be traveling to the New-York Historical Society, New York City, from April through October, 2018. Be sure to visit Crystal Bridges soon to view these old friends before they go on their new adventures; and if you’re traveling in the months ahead, drop in to see them in their temporary homes.
TWO CRYSTAL BRIDGES FAVORITES ON THE ROAD
EXPANDING ACCESS TO ART THROUGH ART BRIDGES IN SEPTEMBER, Crystal Bridges’ founder and board chair Alice Walton announced the formation of Art Bridges: a 501(c)(3) foundation with a mission of expanding access to American art by sharing outstanding works with museums and other institutions, large and small, around the country. The new organization will help create and fund exhibitions, bringing together art from museums, private collections, and
foundations, as well as from a new collection established especially for Art Bridges. To extend the reach of its mission, Art Bridges is partnering with two nonprofit organizations—The Terra Foundation for American Art, which fosters understanding and enjoyment of the visual arts of the United States, and the American Federation of Arts, an organization that develops traveling art exhibitions and education programs. Art Bridges is also contracting with Crystal Bridges to provide administrative, collection care, and curatorial expertise.
“Our country’s significant works of art should be available for all to see and enjoy,” said Walton. “Outstanding artworks are in museum vaults and private collections; let’s make that art available to everyone, and provide a way to experience these cultural treasures.” Additional information, including a list of works currently in the Art Bridges collection, is available at artbridgesfoundation.org.
CRYSTAL BRIDGES TRAVEL PROGRAM TRAVEL IS ONE OF LIFE’S GREATEST JOYS, and our member travel program offers you the opportunity to explore major art destinations with fellow members and museum leadership, allowing you to make new friends while deepening your understanding of the world of art, architecture, and nature. More details about each trip will be emailed to members and individual donors at the respective levels of opportunity. You won’t want to miss this exciting 2018 travel line up!
PALM SPRINGS | FEB 14-18 MODERNISM WEEK FOR MEMBERS AND INDIVIDUAL DONORS GIVING $1,500+ ANNUALLY. Trip highlights include special access tours and private collection visits. Modernism Week events include many social opportunities, as well as tours of famous Modernist homes and architectural structures.
DENVER | APR 12-15 ARTINFUSION ADVENTURE EXCLUSIVE FOR ARTINFUSION MEMBERS. In addition to visiting Denver Art Museum and the Clyfford Still Museum, trip highlights include special access tours, private collection visits, an artist studio visit, and Uncorked Afterglo, the Denver Art Museum’s annual party featuring live music, creative treats, and cocktails.
NEW YORK | MAY 14-18 SPRINGTIME IN THE CITY FOR KINDRED SPIRITS: MEMBERS AND INDIVIDUAL DONORS GIVING $10,000+ ANNUALLY. Spring sales in New York—traditionally the auction houses’ largest season—host an array of Impressionist, Modern, postwar, and contemporary art. Join us for exclusive sale previews, followed by the exciting evening sales, in addition to private collection tours, artist studio visits, and much more!
HOT SPRINGS/LITTLE ROCK | OCT 18-19 CRYSTAL MINES + MOSS MOUNTAIN FARM FOR ALL CRYSTAL BRIDGES MEMBERS AND INDIVIDUAL DONORS. This one-night bus excursion will make its first stop in Hot Springs to explore the world-famous crystal mines. Day two will start with brunch and an all-access tour of Moss Mountain Farm, P. Allen Smith’s Arkansas home (pictured above), which is an epicenter for promoting the local food movement, organic gardening, and the preservation of heritage poultry breeds.
CONTACT ANNE JACKSON AT 479.418.5789 OR ANNE. JACKSON@CRYSTALBRIDGES.ORG FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR VISIT CRYSTALBRIDGES.ORG/MEMBER-TRAVEL. DATES MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
DESIGNED EXCLUSIVELY FOR CRYSTAL BRIDGES COLOR-CHANGING UMBRELLA $40
SHOW YOUR CRYSTAL BRIDGES COLORS WITH OUR LATEST COLLECTION!
COLOR-CHANGING MUG $18 SCARF $45
Visit the Museum Store and discover colorful ways to stay dry, warm, stylish, and inspired this winter. JOURNAL SET $12
Remember, members receive a 10% discount in the store, and all proceeds from sales support the museumâ€™s mission and educational programs. Call 479.657.2310 for more information.
ACQUISITIONS + NEW ON VIEW
ADDITIONAL WORK BY SAM GILLIAM WILL BE INCLUDED IN THE UPCOMING EXHIBITION SOUL OF A NATION, ON VIEW AT CRYSTAL BRIDGES FEBRUARY 3 THROUGH APRIL 23, 2018. SEE PAGE 14 FOR MORE.
Sam Gilliam, Black and Golden Door, 1996, acrylic on birch plywood with aluminum construction and piano-hinged door, 35 3/4 × 35 7/8 × 1 1/2 in. Gift of Darrell and Lisa Walker. Photo by Edward C. Robison III.
Sam Gilliam, b. 1933 Black and Golden Door, 1996 Acrylic on birch plywood with aluminum construction and piano-hinged door Gift of Darrell Walker BORN IN 1933 in Tupelo, Mississippi, Sam Gilliam is a third generation member of the Washington Color School, a group of artists united in their innovative use of color. His work is as diverse and expansive as the colors he uses. Beginning with geometric hard-edge paintings on stretched canvas in the early 1960s, today Gilliam is primarily celebrated for his draped color-field paintings. He pushed beyond the confines of the canvas stretcher, dripping, splattering, and saturating unstretched canvas on the floor of his studio, then bringing the limp canvas from the floor to the wall, placing the architecture of color at center stage. In the 1990s Gilliam began working with wood. Motivated by the architectural confines of a commission, he began to turn toward materials he had eliminated from his work in the beginning of his career. Gilliam’s new approach produced works like Black and Golden Door, a recent gift to Crystal Bridges from Darrell Walker, head coach of the Clark Atlanta University men’s basketball program, an NBA player for ten seasons, and former University of Arkansas athlete. In this work Gilliam creates “folds” with hinges, and stacks layers of laminated birch plywood, creating moments of contrasting mass and void.
Although the form of this work is different from his early draped works, the intention to allow the intrinsic and architectural characteristics of the materials to shine is apparent. Gilliam’s work isn’t bound to any particular style, but rather to the artist’s belief in being true to the nature of his materials. DYLAN TURK CURATORIAL ASSISTANT
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Richard Misrach, Agua #1, near Calexico, California, 2004, printed 2017, pigment print. 60 × 72 in. Veronica, Friendship Park, Border Field State Park (detail), San Diego, 2013, printed 2017, pigment print, 82.5 x 58.5 in. Gift of Richard Misrach. Wall, Los Indios, Texas, 2015, printed 2017, pigment print, 58.5 × 78.25 in. Wall, Tierra del Sol Road, Boulevard, California, 2014, pigment print, 60 × 80 in. © Richard Misrach, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles.
ACQUISITIONS + NEW ON VIEW
Richard Misrach, b. 1949 Photographs from Border Cantos series RICHARD MISRACH has long been established as one of contemporary photography’s most influential and productive artists. His early work helped popularize color photography in the large-scale format. With his highly detailed and immersive prints, he combines the power of a beautiful image with underlying messages about the impact of mankind in its interaction with the land. Misrach’s most notable project, Desert Cantos, has been 40 years in the making and is composed, to date, of 18 various “cantos,” or themes, ranging from atomic bomb test sites, to manmade fires and floods, to petrochemical pollution. While the cantos stand alone as individual series, they are considered sections of a larger story. Misrach’s work was shown at Crystal Bridges this past spring in the exhibition Border Cantos: Sight and Sound Explorations from the Mexican-American Border. For the series, Misrach traversed the length of the borderlands, capturing the natural beauty of the land as well as the underlying, complicated human relationship with the region. With his images like Wall, Tierra Del Sol Road, Boulevard, California, and Wall, Los Indios, Texas, he represents the diverse landscapes bisected by “the Wall,” as well as the aesthetic effect of a manufactured imposition on the land. Meanwhile, Agua #1, near Calexico, California, references the often invisible human impact at the border, illustrating both those in need of
assistance and the humanitarian groups, like Water Station, doing their best to provide aid. The museum is fortunate to have acquired four large-scale prints from this meaningful and timely exhibition. Among these is one of Misrach’s personal favorites, which he generously donated to the Crystal Bridges collection: Veronica, Friendship Park, Border Field State Park, San Diego. ALISON DEMOROTSKI CURATORIAL ASSISTANT
ACQUISITIONS & NEW ON VIEW
OPPOSITE PAGE: Titus Kaphar, The Cost of Removal, 2017, oil, canvas, and rusted nails on canvas, 103 x 84 in. © Titus Kaphar, Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. THIS PAGE: Betye Saar, Gelede, 1971, mixed media assemblage, 58 in. × 16 in. × 2 1/4 in. Courtesy of the artist and Roberts & Tilton, Los Angeles, California. Photo by Robert Wedemeyer.
Titus Kaphar, b. 1976 The Cost of Removal, 2017 Oil, canvas, and rusted nails on canvas THROUGHOUT HIS WORK, Titus Kaphar frequently investigates historical subjects, but often this exploration of history grows from an interest in contemporary society. The Cost of Removal follows this same approach, stemming directly from current events. The idea for this work developed after Kaphar heard that President Donald Trump moved a portrait of Andrew Jackson back into the oval office. This report coincided with the debate over the Dakota Access Pipeline and Kaphar felt that this decision to reinstall the work was a deliberate statement made by the president in response to the pipeline debate. Drawing upon the 1833 Ralph Earl painting, Andrew Jackson on Sam Patch, Kaphar depicts President Andrew Jackson, but only the top half of his head is visible. The rest of his body is obscured by a shredded copy of a document made by Jackson in which he weighed the costs of relocating Native Americans, an action later known as the Trail of Tears. This work is a profound reexamination of history that reiterates the idea that looking backwards in time can continue to inform how we think about the present moment. Further, it expands on themes present in our galleries, cuts across the timeline of our museum, and relates our local connection to the Trail of Tears, making it a highly relevant addition to our collection.
Betye Saar, b. 1926 Gelede, 1971 Mixed media assemblage ORIGINALLY TRAINED AS A DESIGNER, Betye Saar’s transition to fine art happened later in life after discovering printmaking and collage. In making this transition, two important threads developed in her practice: an examination of Black stereotypes in popular culture and an interest in mysticism. As an active member of the Black Arts Movement and a feminist, Saar emerged as a powerful voice in the 1970s, crystallizing her place in art history. Gelede is an early work that features one of Saar’s first explorations of the non-western occult, blending her interest in mysticism with African culture and an exploration of feminine power. Drawing on cultural traditions of the Yoruban people from Southwestern Nigeria, Saar creates an allusion to the Gelede
ceremonies, which occur on special occasions throughout the year. In these rituals, men wear masks and perform religious rites in order to pay tribute to women and as a way of protecting themselves from witches. For the Yoruba, women represent a special life force, and the entertaining ceremony is meant to encourage these women to use their powers for good instead of destruction. Visitors will be able to enjoy this work when it makes its Crystal Bridges debut in Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power (pg 14).
ALEJO BENEDETTI ASSISTANT CURATOR
ART IN THE AGE OF BLACK POWER SOUL OF A NATION: ART IN THE AGE OF BLACK POWER looks at artworks made between 1963 and 1983 by a distinct group of African American artists living and working in the United States in the turbulent decades when the civil rights movement was at its height. These artists asked, and answered, many questions around their individual and collective role as artists in that time. Should an artist respond to political and cultural changes? If so, how? Was there such a thing as ‘Black art’ or a ‘Black aesthetic’? Should an artist create legible images or make abstract work? Was there a choice to be made between addressing a specifically Black audience or a ‘universal’ one? There was no universal answer to any of these questions, and the artists in Soul of a Nation had varied thoughts, as seen by their radically different artistic practices. The exhibition is divided into 12 sections. These sections, devoted to groups of artists in cities across the country or working in particular styles, can be seen as responses to and meditations on these questions. 1963 was a particularly momentous year for the civil rights movement. It was also the year that a group of Black artists in New York, including Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis, Reginald Gammon,
Charles Alston, and Emma Amos, began to meet to discuss what the role of artists was in the movement. This group, called “Spiral,” had one exhibition in which they displayed works in black and white. Spiral is where Soul of a Nation begins, and traces artistic developments of Black artists over the next 20 years, with stops in Chicago and Los Angeles, as well as in New York City. The last section in the exhibition looks at “Just Above Midtown” (JAM), the revolutionary gallery— founded by Linda Goode Bryant in 1974—that staked its claim in the New York City art world by showing the work of African American artists at a time when few other institutions did. JAM would go on to show the work of many groundbreaking artists, including David Hammons, Lorraine O’Grady, Senga Nengudi, and Howardena Pindell. This exhibition is organized by Tate Modern in collaboration with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, and Brooklyn Museum, New York. Curated by Lauren Haynes, Curator of Contemporary Art, Crystal Bridges; Mark Godfrey, Senior Curator, International Art, Tate Modern; and Zoe Whitley, Adjunct Research Curator, Tate Modern, supported by Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Tate Modern. Sponsored at Crystal Bridges by Hearne Fine Art, Philander Smith College, Esther Silver-Parker, Deborah Wright, and James and Emily Bost. LAUREN HAYNES CURATOR, CONTEMPORARY ART
OPPOSITE PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM RIGHT: Barkley L. Hendricks, Icon for my Man Superman (Superman Never Saved Any Black People – Bobby Seale), 1969, 59 1/2 x 48 in. Collection of Liz and Eric Lefkofsky. © Estate of Barkley L. Hendricks. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. Carolyn Lawrence, Black Children Keep Your Spirits Free, 1972, acrylic paint on
SOUL O NATIO
canvas, 49 x 51 x 2 in. Carolyn Mims Lawrence. Artwork Created by Smokehouse Associates, William T. Williams, Melvin Edwards, Guy Ciarcia, and Billy Rose. Photo by Robert Colton, New York, NT; Courtesy of Michael Ronsefeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY.
MEMBERS SEE IT FIRST! MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THE MEMBER PREVIEW OF SOUL OF A NATION: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 11 A.M. TO 9 P.M. EXHIBITION DATES: FEBRUARY 3 â€” APRIL 23
CRYSTAL BRIDGES IS ONE OF ONLY TWO US VENUES TO HOST SOUL OF A NATION, WHICH ORIGINATED AT THE TATE MODERN IN LONDON. AFTER ITS RUN HERE, IT WILL TRAVEL TO THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM IN NEW YORK.
SPIRAL SOUL OF A NATION FOCUS: BIRTH OF A BLACK ART MOVEMENT
OPPOSITE PAGE: Romare Bearden, Pittsburgh Memory, 1964, mixed media collage of printed papers and graphite on board 8 1/2” x 11 3/4”. Collection of halley k harrisburg and Michael Rosenfeld, New York. © Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. THIS PAGE: Sgt. Romare Bearden... (right)...with Pvt. Charles H. Alston, ca. 1944. Photo: National Archives and Records Administration.
IN JULY 1963, Romare Bearden initiated conversations with fellow painters Hale Woodruff, Norman Lewis, and Charles Alston about the prospective role of African American artists in the civil rights movement. While their original focus was the upcoming March on Washington on August 28, 1963, they also gave attention to the questions of if, how, and to what degree artists might assume a meaningful placement within the social change platform of the overall movement. The discussions evolved into regular meetings at Bearden’s studio on Canal Street in downtown Manhattan. Within a few weeks, Spiral was established as a formalized artist group that gathered at a rented location at 147 Christopher Street. By this time, Emma Amos, Calvin Douglass, Perry Ferguson, Reginald Gammon, Felrath Hines, Alvin Hollingsworth, William Majors, Richard Mayhew, Earl Miller, Merton D. Simpson, and James Yeargans had joined the initial four artists. Woodruff suggested the name “Spiral” for the group, referring to the Archimedeal spiral that “moves outward embracing all directions, yet continually upward.” 1 The name also alluded to the diversity of styles and interests represented by the work of its members as they sought to move toward common goals as individual artists and as African American people. Although the group seldom operated from a place of unanimous consent, their clear objectives were to define the nature of their participation in the civil rights agenda, raise questions about the essential requirements and pertinence of a racial aesthetic sensibility, and deliberate on responses to what prominent author Ralph Ellison referred to as “the new visual order.” Norman Lewis brought the question of whether or not race was essential to determining aesthetic sensibility to the forefront when he candidly asked “Is there a Negro Image?” Felrath Hines quickly responded “There is no Negro Image in the twentieth century—in the 1960s. There are only prevailing ideas that influence everyone all over the world, to which the Negro has been, and is, contributing. Each person paints out of the life he or she lives.” 2 They revisited issues that had not been publicly explored in the African American art community since the New Negro era, and fueled interactions that reflected concurrent core interests of the Black Art Movement. As the Black art debate advanced, members of Spiral became increasingly aware of their personal ideologies, modes of expression, and opinions. Spiral held their sole exhibition as a group, First Group Showing: Works in Black and White, at the Christopher Street location May 14 through June 5, 1965. The exhibition was in part a response to the tendency of major art institutions to overlook the work of African American artists, epitomized by The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) mounting Americans 1963, which opened about the same time that Spiral was forming. More pointedly, however, the Spiral show was an act of solidarity—a motive explained in the exhibition catalogue in language that read much like an art-movement manifesto: “We, as Negroes, could not fail to be touched by the outrage of segregation, or fail to relate to the self-reliance, hope, and courage of those persons who were marching in the interest of man’s dignity.… If possible, in
these times, we hoped with our art to justify life…to use only black and white and eschew other coloration. This consideration, or limitation, was conceived from technical concerns; although deeper motivations may have been involved.… What is most important now, and what has great portent for the future, is that Negro artists, of divergent backgrounds and interests, have come together on terms of mutual respect. It is to their credit that they were able to fashion art works lit by beauty, and of such diversity.” 3 In the years preceding their involvement with Spiral, most of the artists were doing figurative work, but had begun to explore abstraction. Woodruff, having studied mural painting in Mexico with Diego Rivera, had completed a stunning series of murals for Talladega College, Alabama; the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company in Los Angeles; and Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). Inspired by African art and architecture, he had begun his “Celestial Gate” series just as the Spiral group was forming. Charles Alston, whose family had migrated from North Carolina to New York, painted portraits and scenes of families or groups of people—inspired by African art, his work in the 1950s became increasingly abstract. Bearden’s pre-Spiral paintings were also figural, many with Christian themes. His striking and innovative collage work, combining painting with cut-out photographs of African American people and African sculpture, began during the time of his involvement with Spiral. By the early 1960s, Norman Lewis had been exploring abstraction for several decades, and had developed the distinctive visual vocabulary of gesture for which he is now widely recognized. The titles of his works during the Spiral period reflect the subject matter on which he was reflecting—ranging from the Ku Klux Klan to marching protesters. Emma Amos, the only woman invited to be a member of Spiral, explored issues of race and racial identity in her multihued portraits of women. Richard Mayhew, drawn to landscape from an early age, created ethereal works that referenced the natural world, but were mystical and otherworldly. Reginal Gammon continued to be most interested in people as subjects. His work from the 1960s is marked by his interest in the civil rights movement, with paintings such as Freedom Now (c. 1963) drawn from iconic newspaper photographs of the major events of the movement. The Spiral collective coalesced during the remarkable period of American history that followed the emergence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a national leader of the civil rights movement. The artists in the group were moved to gather and discuss their own engagement in the struggle for civil rights, and each resolved that question of engagement in a different way. Some created work that directly reflected the urgent concerns and danger facing the black community in American society. Others responded more broadly, some with direct or indirect references to Africa as a source of empowerment. Although the collective eventually dissolved, its brief formation allowed for a shared response to the enormous energy and courage that marked the struggle for civil rights in the early 1960s. 1
Spiral (New York: Christopher Street Gallery, 1965). An exhibition catalogue published in conjunction with the exhibition First Group Showing: Works in Black and White. Unpaginated. 2
Spiral. *This text was previously published in the catalog brochure for Spiral: Perspectives on an African-American Art Collective, an exhibition organized for the Birmingham Museum of Art and presented at The Studio Museum in Harlem in 2011. EMILY G. HANNA CURATOR OF THE ARTS OF AFRICA AND THE AMERICAS, BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM OF ART
AMALIA AMAKI PROFESSOR OF MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT TUSCALOOSA
SOUL OF A NATION FOCUS
IN THE END, Spiral disbanded in 1966, partly because they had no fully shared vision. Their methods, personal beliefs, and individual relationships to the civil rights movement and to the art world differed widely enough to leave them without a common language, and their quest for a Black aesthetic came up empty. An article and interview with members of the group, conducted by Jeanne Siegel for ArtNews in 1966, summed up their differences this way: “They recognized that, at least in this one effort, there was no evidence of any such thing as a Negro quality or a Negro art. The lack of a quick and ready thematic solution to their dilemma was, I believe, a disappointment to them.” In 1967, a group of artists in Chicago, members of the Visual Arts Workshop of the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC), created a collaborative mural on a building at 43rd Street and Langley Avenue. Composed of portraits of African American heroes through history, the mural came to be known as The Wall of Respect. The work stood as a source of community pride and also as the vanguard of a public art movement among African American artists. 1968, some of the artists from OBAC came together to form AFRICOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists). They set out to discover and codify a Black aesthetic and a philosophy for the purpose of Black art. They decided to create democratic artwork, accessible to anyone and filled with uplifting and positive images of African American life that would counter the negative stereotypes perpetuated by popular culture—images that were “pro-Black without being anti anything else.” Their “manifesto” was published in Black World in October, 1970. In the preamble, artist Jeff R. Donaldson states:
people are our standard for excellence. We strive “ Our for images inspired by African people—experience and
images that African people can relate to directly without formal art training and/or experience. Art for people and not for critics whose peopleness is questionable. This is “poster art”—images which deal with concepts that offer positive and feasible solutions to our individual, local, national, international, and cosmic problems. The images are designed with the idea of mass production. An image that is valuable because it is an original or is unique is not art—it is economics, and we are not economists. We want everybody to have some.
The aesthetic principles, as described by original AFRICOBRA member Barbara Jones-Hogu were:
FREE SYMMETRY, the use of syncopated, rhythmic repetition which constantly changes in color, texture, shapes, form, pattern, movement, feature, etc.
MIMESIS AT MID-POINT, design which marks the spot where the real and the unreal, the objective and the non-objective, the plus and the minus meet. A point exactly between absolute abstractions and absolute naturalism.
VISIBILITY, clarity of form and line based on the interesting irregularity one senses in a freely drawn circle or organic object, the feeling for movement, growth, changes and human touch.
LUMINOSITY, “Shine,” literal and figurative, as seen in the dress and personal grooming of shoes, hair (process or Afro), laminated furniture, face, knees or skin.
COLOR, Cool-ade color, bright colors with sensibility and harmony. Although the original members of AFRICOBRA gradually moved away and took up their careers in other cities, the organization itself remains active today. It is one of the longestrunning art collectives in American history. LINDA DEBERRY SENIOR EDITOR
WORKS BY MEMBERS OF SPIRAL AND AFRICOBRA WILL BE INCLUDED IN SOUL OF A NATION (SEE P. 14).
color Color color that shines, color that is free of rules and regulations. “ Color Color that shines. Color that is expressively awesome. Color that defines, identifies and directs. Superreal color for Superreal images. The superreality that is our every day all day thang. Color as bright and as real as the color dealing on the streets of Watts and the Southside and 4th street and in Roxbury and in Harlem, in Abidjian, in Port-au-Prince, Bahia and Ibadan, in Dakar and Johannesburg and everywhere we are. Coolade colors for coolade images for superreal people. JEFF R. DONALDSON
FROM LEFT: Barkley L. Hendricks, What’s Going On, 1974, oil, acrylic, and magna on cotton canvas, 65 3/4 x 83 3/4 in. Megan Z Hunter Gray. © Estate of Barkley L. Hendricks. Courtesy of the artist’s estate and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. Jeff Donaldson, Study for Wall of Respect [Miles Davis], c. 1967, mixed media (including oil) on heavy cream wove paper, 24 x 18 in. Image courtesy of Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University.
THE ORIGINAL “FEARLESS GIRL” DANIEL E. SUTHERLAND DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS, AND AUTHOR OF WHISTLER: A LIFE FOR ART’S SAKE, NEW HAVEN, MA: YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2014
WITH SHOULDERS THROWN BACK, HANDS ON HIPS, AND FEET FIRMLY PLANTED, SHE STANDS READY TO CHALLENGE THE WORLD. New York’s Fearless Girl, sculpted by Kristen Visbal, has become a modern symbol of female empowerment, a testament, as the plaque below the four-foottall statue reminds us, that “SHE makes a difference.” However, long before this defiant little girl took her stand in Gotham’s financial district, James McNeill Whistler painted the portrait of an equally independent lass of approximately the same age and in a strikingly similar posture. The Chelsea Girl, created in 1884 and now part of the Crystal Bridges collection, combines two of Whistler’s favorite artistic themes:
OPPOSITE PAGE: James McNeill Whistler, The Chelsea Girl, 1884, oil on canvas, 65 x 35 in. THIS PAGE: Fearless Girl statue by Kristen Visbal, New York City Wall Street. Photo by Anthony Quintano in Flickr – CC BY 2.0.
portraits of the working classes and of children. It is a surprisingly large painting, given the subject. The entire canvas is 65” x 35”, with the girl standing at close to four feet tall, very likely her real height. The title of the painting is a bit misleading, for while Whistler doubtless encountered her near his Chelsea home and studio, located at the time in Tite Street, she would not have lived in that prosperous enclave of Victorian London. Her boldness was genuine enough, but that is because she came from a family of “costermongers,” or street vendors. Virtually all costers lived near Covent Garden or other wholesale markets in central London, three miles to the east of Chelsea. After procuring their fresh vegetables, fruit, and sometimes fish early each morning, they fanned out across the city in search of customers. Traveling most often on foot, they either carried their produce in large baskets or pushed it along in wheelbarrows. More established costers might invest in a donkey or pony to pull a cart or light trap. Chelsea was only the day’s destination for this girl’s family, their hope being to entice residents with their watercress, apples, and herring. Though poor, uneducated, and quite possibly Irish, costers took inordinate pride in their appearance. Whistler’s little girl wears a traditional shawl, apron, and cotton dress cut at the ankles to reveal a pair of stout boots. The boots were one of the two most prized articles of apparel for any coster, man, woman, or child. The other was the colorful silk “kingsman,” or scarf, wrapped around her neck, in which we can see hints of red, yellow, and green. Most girls would also have donned a knit cap under a velveteen or straw bonnet. Instead, Whistler’s girl enhances her aggressive pose by sporting a man’s flat hat. Perhaps for this reason, along with her short hair, an early reference to the painting mistook her for a boy.
Yet that misidentification would have been appropriate to the hard life of a coster. Often harried by the police as public nuisances, their survival dependent on the weather, and, engaged in an intensely competitive occupation, an audacious attitude came naturally to coster children. This street-smart little girl had learned early on to live by her wits. Not that Whistler necessarily understood this as well as he might have. He had previously depicted two other girls in a similarly defiant pose, one of them only a few years before his Chelsea girl. However, both of those young ladies came from upper-class families, their air of independence more a result of comfort and privilege than physical hardship. In that sense, The Chelsea Girl is the most endearing of the portraits. Appropriately, the painting was first exhibited at Chicago’s World Columbian Exposition of 1893. The advancement and achievements of women in all walks of life was an important theme of that exposition, with a Woman‘s Building, itself designed by a female architect, being one of its biggest attractions. The Chelsea Girl, one of seven Whistler paintings exhibited in Chicago, drew little attention when set beside the more than 1,000 other oils on display. In fact, a guide to the exposition’s art and architecture identified it only as a “Portrait,” observing as well that it did not seem to “interest the public.” Whistler was not surprised by that verdict. He gave it as a gift seven years earlier to the brother of artist Mary Cassatt, who herself had been commissioned to paint one of two giant murals for the exposition’s Woman’s Building. Whistler was exceedingly particular about which pictures he showed to the public, and in this instance, he protested that his Chelsea girl was merely “the sketch of one afternoon—or rather the first statement or beginning of a painting. I am not excusing it mind,” he elaborated to a prominent New York art dealer, “[for] it is a damn fine thing—only I should certainly never have proposed to send it to the Chicago place for the hordes of foolish people to look upon! I ought to have been consulted.” Which just goes to show that artists are not always the best judges of their own work. Walter Sickert, one of Whistler’s most accomplished followers, took a very different view when he insisted in 1925 that, despite the master’s many splendidly finished portraits, his little “coster child” would “in time rank as [among] the finest.” One cannot help but wonder what became of Whistler’s nameless urchin, described by one art critic as a “veritable daughter of the people, with all the defiance of an offspring of the prolétaire in her attitude.” Thankfully, though, her likeness endures, and having been privately owned for 137 years—publicly exhibited only five times—she now maintains her self-confident pose for all the world to see.
A FRESH FACE:
DURING THE EARLY MONTHS OF 2018, when museum attendance slows after the holidays, our first two galleries—the Colonial to Early Nineteenth-Century gallery and the Late Nineteenth-Century gallery—will be closed. For the first time since the museum opened in 2011, Crystal Bridges is renovating and reinstalling the early American galleries. Far more than just a fresh coat of paint, the installation will include new conversations between artworks, updated interpretation, and loaned objects from other institutions. The re-imagined installation will provide opportunities for guests to engage with the permanent collection in fresh and invigorating ways. Multiple voices and perspectives, along with the inclusion of unexpected objects and immersive experiences, will highlight the complexity of our nation’s art and history, view historical art as relevant today, and create personal connections between past and
present. The re-installation includes loans from other institutions of objects that are not part of Crystal Bridges’ collection, such as historical Native American art, folk art, furniture, and art from other regions and time periods. These have been carefully selected to expand upon the permanent collection and enable us to tell textured stories about the first centuries of US history.
GETTING TO KNOW OUR AUDIENCE Our content team—which, in addition to curator Mindy Besaw, includes Anne Kraybill, Director of Education and Research in Learning; and Stace Treat, Interpretation Manager—has been planning this reinstallation since January 2016. Taking a whole new approach to the arrangement and context of a gallery install can be daunting. Our collection naturally shapes how we tell stories in the galleries, but the
A SNEAK PEEK AT THE NEWLY REIMAGINED EARLY AMERICAN GALLERIES
Nari Ward, WethePeople(black version), 2015, shoelaces, 96 in. × 27ft. Installation view, TheFreedom Principle:Experimentsin Art and Music, 1965 toNow, MCA Chicago, July 11 – November 22, 2015.
MINDY BESAW CURATOR, AMERICAN ART
way we arrange the art opens up endless possibilities for interpretation. Our goal was to make choices that would best engage museum visitors. To learn more about our audiences and communities, we needed further research. With the help of Juli Goss, our Research and Evaluation Manager, we conducted focus groups with both staff and community members to gather feedback about the various concepts people associate with American art and the American spirit. Common themes emerged across groups—rugged individualism, ideas of American exceptionalism and the American dream, perseverance, cultural diversity, patriotism, rebellion—and unanimously, participants acknowledged the multiplicity of the American spirit, and the way the term included both positive and negative traits. We also experimented in our galleries by placing unexpected objects in the installation and testing reactions. One of these
experiments was the addition of Roxy Paine’s Bad Lawn to the gallery housing nineteenth-century landscape paintings. In the summer of 2016, comment cards prompted visitors to connect the Roxy Paine sculpture to the paintings in the room. What we learned from the 1,000+ collected and recorded comment cards was that visitors were open to contemporary art “interventions” and juxtapositions within the historical art gallery. All of this research informed our ideas for how the collection would be organized and interpreted. In addition to the work the content team was doing, our Exhibition Designer, Jessi Mueller, analyzed ways to improve visitor flow through the space while also complementing and embracing the soaring architecture. Once the thematic groupings for the collection were established, Mueller also had to marry the themes with the planned reconfiguration of the walls.
GET SNEAK PEEKS OF THE GALLERY REINSTALLATION IN PROCESS, THROUGH THE CRYSTAL BRIDGES BLOG IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY.
COLLECTION + INTRODUCTION ROTATING FOCUS SHOWS
A SNEAK PEEK Upon entering the galleries off the main lobby, guests will first encounter Nari Ward’s We the People, a 28-foot-long installation of the first three words of the preamble to the US Constitution, constructed of shoelaces. (Read an interview with Nari Ward beginning on page 28.) This work was on view in the 1940s to Now Gallery for months, but was always intended to be the introductory artwork for the new installation of the earlier galleries. In its new home, We the People will be in conversation with some of “the people”—in the form of portraits spanning colonial times to today, which will be installed on the opposite wall. The thought-provoking installation will not only highlight variety within the Crystal Bridges collection, but prompt dialogue about the complexity of the American experience. Following this introductory gallery, the reinstallation will be organized chronologically into three eras, collectively spanning from first contact through World War I. Within each era, the artworks will be grouped in themes, each anchored around one painting that introduces the main idea.
NETWORKING AND SOCIAL STATUS The first era represented, covering the 1600s to 1849, will explore the formation of the visual identity of our nation and American art
through the lens of artistic, social, and political networks. Gilbert Stuart’s George Washington, for example, reveals the political and social networks between Washington himself; Alexander Hamilton, who owned the painting; and Stuart, the artist. These men were part of the “in crowd,” of early America. Yet this area will also address social and class hierarchies inherent in some of the artworks. For example, Francis Guy’s Winter Scene in Brooklyn provides a very different snapshot of the social structure of the time than the portraits of upper-class Americans do.
MOBILITY: UPWARD AND OUTWARD The second era represented, 1843-1883, explores the impact of mobility on the nation. In this era, Americans took advantage of opportunities for social mobility through education and reconstruction, and increased their geographic mobility as the country expanded its boundaries west. Richard Caton Woodville’s War News from Mexico is a mid-nineteenth-century genre painting that refers to the politically divisive Mexican American War of 1846 to 1848. As the US fought to annex new territories
FROM LEFT: Alfredo Ramos Martinez, Florida Mexicana, 1936, oil on canvas, 36 x 30 in. Photo by Edward C Robison III. Gilbert Stuart, George Washington [The Constable-Hamilton Portrait], 1797, oil on canvas, 50 x 40 in. Photo courtesy of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Francis Guy, Winter Scene in Brooklyn, 1820, oil on canvas, 58 x 106 in. Photo by Dwight Primiano.
WHO YOU KNOW
CLOCKWISE FROM RIGHT: Paul Lacroix, WaterLilies, 1865, oil on board, 10 7/8 x 13 3/4 in. Photo by Edward C. Robison III. Theodore Robinson, World’s Colombian Exposition, 1894, oil on canvas, 25 x 30 in. Photo by Dwight Primiano. Thomas Eakins, ProfessorBenjamin Howard Rand, 1874, oil on canvas, 60 x 48 in. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art. George W. Pettit, UnionRefugees,1865, oil on canvas, 45 × 54 in. Photo by Edward C. Robison III. Richard Caton Woodville, War NewsfromMexico, 1848, oil on canvas, 27 x 25 in. Photo by the Walters Art Museum, Susan Tobin. Dennis Miller Bunker, AnnePage, 1887, oil on canvas, 42 1/2 x 54 in. Photo by Susan A. Cole, Seattle Art Museum.
EMERGING MODERN LIFE
from Texas to California, the people considered (and argued over) the ramifications, including the possible expansion of slavery into the new areas. Reasons for migration and movement were varied— certainly for opportunities and growth, but also as the result of war and displacement, as represented by George W. Pettit’s Union Refugees.
NINETEENTH-CENTURY LIVING The last, and largest, of the three eras featured explores themes related to emerging modern life and encompasses art made between 1864 and 1918. With the rise in industrialism, both labor and leisure likewise developed, and became popular topics for artists. Thomas Eakins’s Benjamin Howard Rand anchors the theme with its references to the subject’s professional and private life. Several artworks, such as Dennis Miller Bunker’s Anne Page and Paul Lacroix’s Water Lilies will address notions of beauty during this pivotal time period. A small immersive installation of artworks along with furniture and decorative arts from the time period will offer guests a moment of surprise and a sense of nineteenth-century home life.
MEMBERS SEE IT FIRST! JOIN A SPECIAL MEMBER SCOOP ON FRIDAY, MARCH 16 FROM 10 TO 11:30 A.M., TO CELEBRATE THIS EXTRAORDINARY RE-INSTALLATION.
NEW WORKS AND WAYS OF EXPERIENCING THEM Another new feature is a separate gallery (fondly called the “mini football” due to the shape of the space) dedicated to small, themed exhibitions featuring selections from our collection of works on paper. This themed exhibition will change every five to six months as works on paper must be rotated off view to protect them from the damaging effects of light exposure. In addition to viewing works in new and different contexts and groups, visitors will have a chance to engage with the artwork through new interpretive elements—from in-depth digital labels, to sketching and writing activities, to a fully redeveloped audio guide. When you visit us in March, there will be much to see and do! In the meantime, enjoy our temporary exhibition Soul of a Nation (free for members) and the remainder of the galleries, and be ready in March to see our collection anew!
WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE NORTH FOREST TRAIL LINDA DEBERRY SENIOR EDITOR
AFTER THE CROWDS HAVE CLEARED and the artworks by Dale Chihuly have been removed from the landscape along the museum’s new North Forest Trail—what happens next?
NEW ARTWORKS The first order of business will be installing some of the outdoor sculptures that have been acquired for this space. Artworks to be installed in the North Forest include: Carol Bove’s Horse Lover, Tony Tasset’s Deer, and Fletcher Benton’s Steel Watercolor No. 162. In addition to these three, George Rickey’s One Fixed Four Jointed Lines Biased, which was formerly on view in the museum’s courtyard, will be installed in the North Forest.
NEW PROGRAMMING Two outdoor concert series will be offered in the summer and fall of 2018 and will feature a full gamut of musical genres. The museum will also be expanding current programming into the North Forest area, including guided tours for the public and school tours focusing on the combination of art and nature, which will begin in the fall. The availability of shade and open green spaces with access to electricity also opens up additional possibilities for expansion of programs like Discover the Grounds, Family Sunday, and the museum’s annual Garden Party. » Don’t miss our upcoming Discover the Grounds on February 17, 10 to 11:30 am. Celebrate the National Audubon Society’s Great Backyard Bird Count with Jay Schneider Assistant Parks Supervisor, Hobbs State Park.
PUBLIC ACCESS The North Forest Trail’s connection to the city’s Enfield Park Trail will be reopened in early 2018, allowing pedestrians and bicyclists to utilize the area. The paved trail also accommodates guests with strollers or wheelchairs.
TRAILS + GROUNDS
NEW ADDITIONS TO THE NORTH FOREST (FROM LEFT): Carol Bove, Horse Lover, 2016, found steel, stainless steel, and urethane paint, 132 X 50 X 43 in. Tony Tasset, Deer, 2015, fiberglass, epoxy, and paint, 144 in X 20 ft X 96 in. Image courtesy of the artist and Kavi Gupta, photo: Tim Johnson. George Rickey, One Fixed Four Jointed Lines Biased, 1988, stainless steel, 17 ft 4 in X 16 ft 8 in. Photo by Edward C Robison III.
WE PEOP 28
THE PLE LINDA DEBERRY SENIOR EDITOR
Nari Ward has a deep interest in what he refers to as “sleeping texts”: words we’re so familiar with that they have, in a sense, lost their meaning to us. As an example, he mentioned the American “Miranda” rights— he refers to them as “citizens rights”—which are read to suspects by police upon their arrest and before questioning. Ward says that this statement of citizens’ rights should make us feel “homey,” and protected; but instead, the Miranda warning has become so familiar through cop shows on TV that we automatically associate it with guilt.
All work is political... I really just raise th the viewer to have to navigate the emoti AS A NATURALIZED AMERICAN CITIZEN, (born and raised in Jamaica, he became a US citizen some seven years ago, and had been living in the US for many years prior), Ward is perhaps a little less inured to the impact and meaning of these “sleeping texts” than the average US-born American. I spoke to Nari Ward in April, 2017, when he was visiting Crystal Bridges for the Art Symposium: Art in Conversation. Tall, thin, and animated, he has a welcoming presence, a warm smile, and only the occasional hint of a Caribbean cadence to his speech. Nothing you would call an actual accent. LD I’m interested in your take on what you refer to as “sleeping texts.” “We the People” is certainly one of those texts that we’ve come to take for granted, and you mentioned the Miranda warning. Are there other sleeping texts you’ve worked with? NW I look for texts that we have a connection with, but that connection may have changed because of the time. It’s not as urgent anymore, or we just don’t even consider them as much anymore. For me it’s not necessarily the text as how to bring the body of the viewer back into play. Because all art for me is about being in the moment. The more you’re in the moment, the more you get to be introspective. That’s the whole objective, to get people reconnected to their sense of who they are. It’s hard to do that because there are all these things, especially with social media, drawing their attention away from them coming to terms with that interior space. The text is really a precursor for finding an entrance. I’ve done “I Am a Man” [words used all over the world as an assertion of civil rights, but especially during the Memphis sanitation workers strike in 1968]. I have done that text in shoelaces. And I’ve also looked to leaders who are underrepresented. There’s a really great text called “angelic troublemaker,” by Bayard Rustin.* Nobody knows who Bayard Rustin is. They would have known him if it wasn’t for the fact that he was an openly gay man during the civil rights era. He organized the March on Washington, he was King’s sort of right hand person. But because he was gay they decided he had to be in the shadows because he wouldn’t be good for the movement. He was an amazingly brilliant guy that you never hear about. So for me to do that text in laces was about bringing his voice back to the conversation. LD Regarding the use of laces, or shoestrings: When I think of shoestrings, I think of “shoestring budget”: the idea to do more with less? NW In the beginning, it was more pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. That was the logic for me: bootstraps, bootstrings, you have to strap them on, put it together. So I liked that. Also that idea of you’re ready. Loose shoelaces were always anxiety-
producing, because any time you see a child—or even an adult—walking with their loose laces, you know what could happen is they could trip. There’s that association with a hanging lace. All of those things really made sense for me. LD Why do you think words are so important to your work? NW Because it’s about how we communicate and it’s also about how we make meaning out of things. We are grammatical, right? We figure out a system for understanding something. And within that system we are allowed to vent. Words propose a specific intention. Logos I’m excited about also. The more specific it is, the more it’s supposed to be the brand that is supposed to be this strong, monolithic symbol, the more excited I am, I think “how can I tumble this?” I try to humanize these things that seem overwhelming, that are meant to be so distant. But also, to make a connection to it, another possible experience for it. It’s a way to empower the viewer. LD Do you consider this work to be political? NW You know, I didn’t when I first started. It was really just like “let’s dust this off.” It may be a naïve adventure of using the monolith of this text and kind of figuring out if I could make it experiential. How could I articulate it, but in some ways also obliterate the literal thing you’re engaging? The political component was not the primary. All work is political. If I do enter the political arena of subject matter, I shy away from trying to show my position. I really just raise the questions around something and leave the viewer to have to navigate the emotional space that it creates for them, the anxiety or the sense of doubt, or the sense of connectedness or not within their interpretation of it. I’m political in the sense that I want people to consider and question their decisions, but I never really want to tell them what to think.
e questions around something and leave onal space that it creates for them,
the anxiety or the sense of doubt, or the sense of connectedness or not within their interpretation of it. 31
this is a communal role. Our togetherness is going to make this work.” The work, whether it’s how it’s built or the material in the making of it, revolves around bringing the body and the presence of each other into the conversation. LD I read that you became a citizen partly so you could critique the American system from the inside; is that true? NW I was getting a lot of anxiety. It was a little after 9-11 when, for good reason, there was a kind of nationalist fervor; and then it started to get ugly because it was an “us against them” thing. At that stage, I thought wow, the language is really getting harsh, and if I’m going to critique this and be part of the conversation, I need to cover my bases, I need to become a citizen. It started to feel urgent when I wanted to become involved in questioning our collective space. LD How did growing up in Jamaica impact your work? NW Early on I rejected it. And then I realized, okay, this is a fact of my life that I’ve been resisting. So why not use it as a platform for talking about everything? So instead of being a problem for me, it became another tool for being part of the discussion.
Initially it was like “I don’t want to be a Jamaican artist, I don’t want to be marginalized.” And now I’m like “yeah I’m a Jamaican artist, but everybody comes from somewhere.” There’s a book called White Trash about the myth of American whiteness. I think it’s part of the problem in terms of the notion of privilege, and it’s another strategy for otherizing people who look different. So I embrace that part of myself and try to figure out how to use it in conversation to have other people think about where they’re from or their connectedness to a particular place. LD Was your experience as a Black man different there? LD Has your feeling about this work changed in the past year, with the developing political climate? NW Yeah, I’m even more happy with it, in the sense that it becomes more pertinent. How do you find a way for people to talk about their relationship to a system or a government that feels so alienating? It’s just a small moment where you can say “our role in
NW I think the history is different, but it all comes down to power. There are certain populated spaces in Jamaica that you think you have power as a Black man, but there are other moments when you realize, oh, it’s still a colony, it still has a colonial history. So it fluctuates, depending on your engagement with different communities, different cultures. There’s a pigmentocracy there.
PAGE 28: Nari Ward, image courtesy of the artist. PAGE 31: Nari Ward, We the People (black version) (detail), 2015, shoelaces, 96 in. × 27 ft. Photo by Stephen Ironside. OPPOSITE PAGE: Nari Ward, image courtesy of the artist. THIS PAGE: Nari Ward at Crystal Bridges’ Art Symposium, April 1, 2017.
LD That’s not a word I’ve heard before. NW Stuart Hall talks about this. He’s a cultural anthropologist and he talks about pigmentocracy that’s really pervasive, more so in the Caribbean. The lighter-colored folks are generally given more access than the darker folks. Because when you take away the chains, then how do you control the community? So it’s done through that process. Unfortunately, I think humans are really tribal. We connect in a very immediate way to people who look like us. Then it’s more work and it’s done more through education to get to this other space where “oh yeah, that person’s just like me too. I don’t have to listen to things that have been said, I can learn by doing research or just get out and meet the people.” But if you listen to the media, or even social media, you’ll come to some conclusions that are so off base, it’s dangerous.
we’re living through. It’s not like “oh, we’re going to end.” That’s not productive. That makes people withdraw from participating. It’s just at a super messy point. Let’s figure out how we can shore up the edges to make sure it doesn’t fall apart. LD Talk to me about how you get your materials. Do you just wander around the streets rifling through trash bins? NW It’s changed since I’ve gotten older. I feel like bed bugs didn’t exist when I was starting out (laughing); because my daughter and my wife, they’re like “Don’t bring that in here, it’s got bedbugs!” If I pick up something, they’re worried about what’s in it, you know. So, now I think, “you know, they might be right.” I still consider myself a kind of found-object artist; because I like the idea of being able to be let into another space through the material.
LD How do you mean off base? NW I’ve been around white people pretty much all my life, but I don’t think a lot of white people have been around Black people a lot. So their experience of knowing them is through TV: sports, entertainment, news, or some leader, some distant thing. The normal interaction is missing. So it’s really awkward for them to know how to engage; and it’s not entirely their fault. This misinformation that they have is now trying to process this other moment of engagement. So maybe they start talking to you as if you’re an athlete or some representation of the race. They’re trying to find a bridge because these are the spaces they know. You find that bridge in academia, so that’s one way. Art is another way. But there’s a deficit of the tools to navigate that.
LD Do you get an idea from the object, or do you have an idea and you’re looking for the material? NW Both. But I’m always more excited when that thing sparks an idea. I’d say that’s a Jamaican thing—that level of ingenuity of inventing I see in a lot of so-called “third-world” countries. However, it also happens in poor rural communities of the United States. The new is not the mainstay. It’s more like you take what’s there and you figure out how to keep it going, or refashion it so it can do what you need it to do. This idea of need is really close to the creative space. That happens when I see something and I need to tell the story that that thing has. I guess that’s the space I really like the most. LD Do you feel like art can / should affect change?
LD How much does history play into your work? You said once that you had a distrust of the way history is presented. NW Even in my own family, I see it. My two kids go to a very progressive private school, because the neighborhood was not very good when I moved there. They talked about the civil rights era and what happened. So I talked to my kids; I said “tell me a little about that.” And all they talked about was Martin Luther King. And I’m like, “so when are you going to get to Malcolm X?” And they said, “Who?” Malcolm they chose to negate because his aggressive way of Black empowerment was not what they wanted to present, it wasn’t about integration. We tell history based on our agenda. It’s inherently flawed. So I feel like the way art can tackle history is to bring all the pieces into the conversation so that people can put it together themselves. Maybe more information needs to be brought into the conversation. I think what’s great about the Crystal Bridges collection is that they’re really thinking about that. It’s not just American history, the normal 200-year version of it. It’s like, “how do we bring in the diversity of this country and the history of it from another voice?” I think that’s smart, because you want to see how the country is mixing and building. You want folks to feel like they’re connected to it. That’s the other thing. I always felt like history was somebody else’s story. LD We have this idea of “We the People” as meaning everybody, but that’s not really what it meant at first. NW Yeah. It meant white males back then, so it’s evolved and changed. It’s still very contentious. This idea of America has always been messy. I think it’s just part of the messiness that
NW Oh yeah. We have this amazing gift. We’re privileged to be able to say anything. I think we should take advantage of that and be able to be critical of the system. To a degree, that’s our task. Even when things are seeming to go well, you need an artist to kind of mess things up so that people can think about what’s going on. It’s about bringing people back into the moment. One of the brilliant things that I learned in my application to be a US citizen was that what makes our government so special is this notion of checks and balances. And that’s what art should do for our lives, it should be about “Wait. Assess this. Look at this. Let’s talk about this.” Otherwise you’re not growing, it’s just routines. And I think growth is not routine. *Bayard Rustin, an activist for civil rights and counselor to Martin Luther King, was an advocate for nonviolent civil disobedience. He said “We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers.”
A CLOSER LOOK
A CLOSER LOOK
THERE IS AN IMMEDIATE FAMILIARITY that hits viewers when first encountering this work. With hundreds of examples of rectangular paintings hanging on our walls, a cube seems right at home. But then again, we aren’t actually looking at another rectangular painting. The shaped canvas is six-sided. Loving’s imagery is so identifiable and so convincing that viewers go right along with him – instantly favoring the shape of the illusion over the actual form, a pretty radical accomplishment for an artist working in two dimensions. This is made even more impressive by the fact that Loving isn’t showcasing photorealistic application of paint. There’s no trickery at play here. In fact, Loving makes no attempt to hide his hand at all. His orange planes in particular are brushy and streaked, while the colorful lines that trace the edges of the fictional corners sit right on top without any pretense of blending into the surface. This
is the sort of detail that doesn’t show up in reproductions (a good reason to come see this work in person), but this seemingly minor stylistic decision, paired with the subject, made his work distinct from that of his peers. Indeed, these early explorations into the cube earned Loving a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1969, only a year after moving to New York to pursue his art career. An astounding accomplishment for any emerging artist, this achievement also propelled him into the spotlight because he was the first African American artist to earn a solo show at this iconic institution. While his artwork itself did not wade into political and social issues, Loving’s success identified him as a powerful voice in the ongoing discussion over what is meant by a “Black aesthetic” in art. ALEJO BENEDETTI ASSISTANT CURATOR
Alvin Loving, Cube, 1970, acrylic on canvas, 61 1/4 x 71 1/4 in. Photo by Edward C. Robison III.
Al Loving, 1935 – 2005 Cube, 1970 Acrylic on canvas
FROM TOP: Robert Seldon Duncanson, Landscape, 1865, oil on canvas, 13 x 25 in. Photo by Dwight Primiano. William Notman, Robert S. Duncanson, artist, Montreal, QC, 1864, silver salts on paper mounted on paper – Albumen process, 8.5 x 5.6 cm, McCord Museum, purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd., I-11978.1.
ROBERT SELDON DUNCANSON (1821-1872)
IMAGINE THE DIFFICULTY OF SUPPORTING YOURSELF AS A BIRACIAL ARTIST IN THE UNITED STATES PRIOR TO THE CIVIL WAR. Robert Seldon Duncanson did just this—establishing an artistic practice in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1854, first as a photographer and then as a full-time painter. At the time, Cincinnati was an economic and cultural center and Duncanson found many patrons for his work. By 1861, a Cincinnati newspaper claimed that Duncanson was “the best landscape painter in the West.” Duncanson was born to a Scottish-Canadian father and an African American mother in 1821 in Seneca County, New York. By the early 1840s he had settled near Cincinnati with his mother. Duncanson initially taught himself fine art by copying prints and working as an itinerant portrait painter. In 1853, Duncanson embarked on a Grand Tour of Europe, through England, France, Italy, and possibly Germany, to study the European masters. By the time he returned from Europe, landscape had become his predominant subject, painted in the style of the Hudson River School—a group of midnineteenth-century artists named for their origins in landscape scenes near the Hudson River. These artists, like Duncanson, combined details of nature based on close observation with idealized elements to emphasize the beauty and grandeur of the wilderness.
Duncanson spent much of the Civil War in Minnesota, as well as Toronto and Montreal, Canada, far from the hostilities and the racial tensions present in Cincinnati, near the border of North and South. When Duncanson arrived in Montreal he was warmly received, and he exhibited his works there to great acclaim. In Landscape, painted while in Canada, Duncanson depicted loggers floating rafts of timber down what is most likely the Saint Lawrence River, near Montreal. Despite the intimate scale of the painting (13” x 25”), the view highlights the broad expanse of the river valley. The entire composition is bathed in the golden glow of sunset, a visual effect that unifies the scene and recasts a mundane, workaday activity. In 1865, Duncanson left Canada to visit the British Isles, returning to America and Cincinnati by 1866, after the close of the Civil War. Despite racial discrimination and oppression, Duncanson nevertheless was highly regarded as an artist and continued to be successful. Tragically, he suffered a form of dementia toward the end of his life, possibly due to poisoning from lead-based paint, and died suddenly in 1872 while working on an exhibition in Detroit. MINDY BESAW CURATOR, AMERICAN ART
MEMBERS VOLUNTEER! 279 MUSEUM MEMBERS ARE ON THE VOLUNTEER FORCE!
WHY WE VOLUNTEER PEOPLE CHOOSE TO VOLUNTEER FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS. Just as the backgrounds and skill sets of our volunteers are different, so are their reasons for becoming part of the Crystal Bridges family.
A SENSE OF COMMUNITY JANN PITTMAN AND DAVID RICCIARDELLI, VOLUNTEERS SINCE 2015, BELLA VISTA JANN We moved to this area to get involved with the museum. We were living in Little Rock and were getting ready to retire. We started coming up to visit the museum and decided that we’d like to be a part of it, so we decided to move up here. One of the first things we did was take the volunteer training so we could start right away. DAVID It’s just a very first-class operation. The architecture is beautiful, the art is wonderful, the trails are wonderful. Everything about it is just top shelf. So I wanted to be part of something like that. JANN I enjoy interacting with guests. I get really excited, with people who’ve never been there before, to show them how wonderful it is. I can’t think of any experience I’ve had with a visitor that’s been less than positive. People just really love being there. DAVID There’s a sense of community among the volunteers, and among the volunteers and the staff. I’m retired and it gives me something very worthwhile to do. I really appreciate it and I feel appreciated.
INTERIOR PEACE RUTH LOPEZ, INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER SINCE 2016, BENTONVILLE I used to be a consultant, but when I moved to the US because of my husband’s work, I stayed home to take care of my children: a six-year-old boy and three-year-old girl. The day I put a foot in Crystal Bridges, many paintings—and the place itself—touched my heart, and I felt interior peace. As a full-time mom, that is a state that we can achieve with difficulty. I’m a Tour Guide. I give the Highlights tour and the Women in Art tour. Every training feels like a high-level class in the best university of art. A lot of material is provided to help us give the best possible tours and most importantly, we are treated as we are the most important people. I feel that I receive more than I give.
ART + CULTURE LINDA AND RUSS TONKINSON, VOLUNTEERS SINCE 2010 AND 2016, ROGERS When we were considering a move from California to Rogers, I was concerned about two things. Could I get Wasabi paste for my favorite Asian recipes, and were there enough music and art opportunities in the area? Once I read about the building of a first-class art museum in Bentonville, that sealed the deal. When the opportunity came to be in the first class of Gallery Guides, I eagerly and anxiously applied. I was thrilled to be accepted into the program! Russ (my husband) is new to the program: Class of 2017. Volunteering keeps me on my toes! It is great exercise for both mind and body. There are so many social and educational opportunities that I find my whole life revolving around the things to do and see at Crystal Bridges.
“ I knew from the beginning I would be a fan of Crystal
Bridges. Originally drawn to the collection, I sought to help visitors experience history and ponder the definition of art. It is a great joy watching someone marvel at things they have never seen. Another joy is celebrating various occasions with my peers through Artinfusion; lectures, special events, and community involvement help me expand my volunteer experience beyond our beautiful walls. The staff and my fellow volunteers are what allow me to continually participate in a museum culture I love. HOPE JOHNSTONE Volunteer since 2011
INTERESTED IN BECOMING A VOLUNTEER? LEARN MORE ABOUT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AND FILL OUT AN APPLICATION ON OUR WEBSITE: CRYSTALBRIDGES.ORG/VOLUNTEER.
SUMMER FLING AUGUST 11, 2017 This annual Artinfusion event celebrated the opening of Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome on the museum grounds.
STUART DAVIS: IN FULL SWING DIRECTOR’S RECEPTION SEPTEMBER 14, 2017 Members and special guests enjoyed an evening of art and jazz to open the exhibition. Sponsored at Crystal Bridges by James Dyke and Helen Porter.
ARTINFUSION EXCURSION SEPTEMBER 16, 2017
Artinfusion members enjoyed a block-party mixer at Fairlane Station in Springdale. Artinfusion is sponsored by Saatchi & Saatchi X, RopeSwing, JTH Productions, General Mills, Greenwood Gearhart Inc., HOWSE, Johnson & Johnson, The Hershey Company, Wright Lindsey Jennings, and Blue Moon Brewing Company.
LIGHT NIGHT SEPTEMBER 1, 2017 Visitors of all ages attended this vibrant, glow-in-the-dark event. Sponsored by JTH Productions.
PHILANTHROPY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT INCLUDING CRYSTAL BRIDGES IN YOUR ESTATE PLANS, OR TO INFORM US OF A GIFT ALREADY IN YOUR PLANS, CONTACT EMILY IRONSIDE AT 479.418.5780 OR EMILY.IRONSIDE@CRYSTALBRIDGES.ORG.
ONE FAMILY’S FOCUS ON THE FUTURE
“Crystal Bridges will benefit
Northwest Arkansas, our state, and the United States for years to come.
WHEN WE THINK ABOUT PHILANTHROPY, we often think about the impact one can make today. When Arkansas natives and Crystal Bridges supporters Dennis and Evelyn Shaw think about philanthropy, they think about the impact one can make tomorrow. The Shaws have given their talents and treasures to many organizations in Arkansas. The moment they learned the Walton family was building an art museum in Bentonville, they realized this project would be unprecedented. Just a year after the museum was announced, Dennis and Evelyn decided to include Crystal Bridges in their estate plan. “It was so early we did not even know the name of the museum we were listing as a beneficiary, so we later had to revise it to make it a legal name,” chuckled Evelyn. However, they did know the museum would be a game changer for Arkansas.
“We grew up without the opportunities Crystal Bridges offers,” Dennis explained. An architectural enthusiast and artist himself, Dennis is thrilled to have such an important cultural resource take root in his home community. “It elevates the status of our state.” Dennis added, “Crystal Bridges will benefit Northwest Arkansas, our state, and the United States for years to come. What it is and what it will be – that’s why we did it.” Dennis and Evelyn hope their decision to include Crystal Bridges in their estate plans encourages other families to consider a similar path. Their planned gift allows them to show their love of family and community who will appreciate the museum for generations to come. EMILY IRONSIDE DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
BACK COVER: William T. Williams, Trane, 1969, acrylic on canvas,108 × 84 in. The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Charles Cowles, New York. 1981.2.2. © William T. Williams; Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY. Photo: Marc Bernier.
AS WE THINK ABOUT MUSEUMS AS “BRAVE SPACES” in which we open our minds and engage in conversations about important and sometimes difficult things, we need to remember that sometimes being “brave” means just veering slightly out of your everyday world to experience something new. Every great adventure or new idea or change in the world depends on taking that first brave step—making that first big discovery that the world is bigger than we imagined. Here’s an often repeated story we know well at Crystal Bridges: A little girl—we’ll call her Tanya—from a rural community in Arkansas, joins her class on a field trip to Crystal Bridges. Because of the Willard and Pat Walker School Visit Program, Tanya’s school is able to send its students to the museum at no cost. Tanya has never been to a museum, or seen a real work of art. She doesn’t know what to expect. When the students enter the galleries, the museum educator encourages them to look carefully and talk about what they see in the artworks. Before long, Tanya loses her nervousness and becomes comfortable talking about the art. When she goes home, Tanya bubbles with excitement about her trip. She hands her parents a coupon for the entire family to visit the museum and receive free admission to the special exhibition. When the family makes the trip a few weeks later, Tanya is proud to serve as tour guide, showing them the artworks and talking about what she learned. On their way home, they enjoy sharing their experiences and make plans to return. The spark of discovery is at the heart of our museum’s purpose. Discovery leads to dreaming. And, in dreaming we are led to doing.
Since our opening, Crystal Bridges has taken on a range of new projects and initiatives, but at the core of each is an opportunity to spark discovery. I am grateful to you for your membership that helps fan a spark of discovery for the Tanya in each of us. We call it the Crystal Bridges Experience.
ROD BIGELOW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CHIEF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION OFFICER
600 Museum Way â€¢ Bentonville, AR 72712