Crystal Bridges opens newly designed Modern Art Galleries

Crystal Bridges

Edward Hopper, ‘Blackwell’s Island,’ 1928, oil on canvas, 34½ x 59½ in. (87.6 x 151.1 cm), framed: 46¼ × 71½ × 3¼ in. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art opened the newly designed Modern Art Galleries on June 23. The two enclosed spaces are situated on the north bridge and feature a variety of Modern works from Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection as well as the Alfred Stieglitz Collection.

Following the opening of the newly designed Early American Galleries in March, the Modern Art Galleries have been reinstalled to incorporate a range of artworks and perspectives. The galleries showcase paintings, sculptures, photographs, and works on paper from the 1910s through the 1940s by artists such as Thomas Hart Benton, Jacob Lawrence, Stuart Davis, Edward Hopper, Florine Stettheimer, Marsden Hartley, Paul Cadmus,Suzy Frelinghuysen and Alfred Stieglitz, and works on loan, including Native American artworks.

“We are excited to reintroduce visitors to American Modernism in familiar and new ways, while broadening the cultural and historical relevance of the artwork with the addition of the Stieglitz Collection,” said Jen Padgett, assistant curator at Crystal Bridges. “During the early 20th century, modern artists experimented with different styles and movements from abstraction to regionalism. This installation foregrounds that scope and places work in a broader context of modern art, all toward the goal of telling a more complete and textured American story.”

The works are presented in thematic groupings that explore major changes in American art during the period. The growth of industrialism and cultural changes led some artists to embrace the present. Other artists turned to the past in their work, finding inspiration in traditions or creating scenes from the nation’s rural history. These competing visions showcase the different ways artists sought to answer the question ‘What is American art?’ during the period.

For the first time, the Stieglitz Collection is integrated alongside Modern American artists in the permanent collection, creating interesting new connections and cultural insights. The museum co-owns the collection with Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. The works include objects and paintings collected by Georgia O’Keeffe’s late husband, Alfred Stieglitz, a photographer, gallery owner and champion of American Modernists. Some of O’Keeffe works in the collection are included in the exhibition, “The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art,” on view through Sept. 3. Works from the Alfred Stieglitz Collection will be on view through December 2019.

In addition to the Modern Art Galleries, Crystal Bridges will have three new focused exhibitions on view during the 2018 fall season:

Will Wilson (Sept. 1, 2018 – February 2019)
Contemporary photographer Will Wilson presents a 21st-century depiction of Indigenous culture through his photography. This exhibition will also feature photographs from Edward Curtis, who took similar photos 100 years ago, to compare the ways in which Native peoples have been depicted throughout the past century.

Amy Sherald (Sept. 1 – Dec. 31)
Artist Amy Sherald skyrocketed to fame in early 2018 when she was commissioned to paint the official portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama. This fall, Crystal Bridges will present a selection of seven paintings by Sherald, each one focusing on a different person she meets during the course of her day in Baltimore, Maryland, in her now famous American Realism style.

Personal Space (October 27, 2018 – March 2019)
Pairing artworks in the collection with works on loan, “Personal Space” takes a look at various depictions of space within mModern and contemporary art, asking viewers to consider what emotions are evoked by the places, people, objects and symbols depicted within the artworks.

For more info on upcoming exhibitions, visit https://crystalbridges.org/exhibitions/#upcoming.