Alfred Stieglitz in 1902. Photo by Gerturde Kasebier
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art celebrated it's second anniversary on November 11th. When it opened two years ago it was apparent that a world class institution had become a presence in what is, for most people, a rather off the beaten path part of the world. Two years later, Crystal Bridges continues to astonish and delight everyone who visits. The work of Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe, two giants of Modernism, help celebrate the Museum's anniversary.
Briefly, Stieglitz was an American photographer who is largely responsible for assuring that photography was accepted as a fine art form as original and genuine as painting, sculpture, and so on. Georgia O'Keeffe, his wife, was a painter who gained international recognition for her Southwestern inspired paintings.
Bridge's special exhibit is titled The Artist's Eye: Georgia O'Keeffe and the Alfred Stieglitz Collection. It showcases about a hundred works on loan from Fisk University, and principally focuses on Stieglitz's photographs and the paintings he collected from American artists who pursued a rampantly self-conscious and experimental form that focused on the cultural and technological changes in society as it emerged from the mostly rural and pastoral 19th century into "the modern" era. Among the artists exhibited is the purely delightful Wanda Gag, who is best known as the writer and illustrator of the children's story A Million Cats.
Crystal Bridges is a kid friendly environment. There are plenty of outdoor areas for children to run about, and many of the works from the permanent collection will absolutely delight them. Food is available at the Museum's restaurant, Eleven, from 11:00 until 2:00. The new culinary director, Case Dighero, has put together a superb menu that is as pretty as it is delicious. Adults and children will enjoy it.
Crystal Bridges is located in Bentonville. From Carrol County, follow highway 62 to Rogers. Drive under the 540 overpass at 62 and go about a mile to J Street. Turn right and follow the signs.
The O'Keeffe Stieglitz exhibit runs until February 3rd. Admission is free for members; $5 for non-members. Closed Tuesdays.