Friday, November 11, 2011

I wish I were in Arkansas today


Have you heard about Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art? I first read about it in a New Yorker article. Whatever we think about Wal-Mart, the heiress daughter has, in my opinion, done something utterly wonderful with her money. For years she has collected American art, and this morning at 11 am, the museum will open with her pieces and others. And it is FREE to the public. If I were rich, this is one of the things I would do.

You may read more online, here; here; here; see photos here, and view the website itself. One of the major artists displayed is Thomas Hart Benton. If you don't know a lot about him, as I didn't, there is a wonderful film available at Netflix.

13 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this, Nan. I wish I were in Arkansas today as well. This looks to be a fabulous museum, both inside and out, and it is heart-warming to hear of this endeavor by the Wal-Mart heiress. I'm sure this is a museum I will seek out if ever I am in Arkansas.

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  2. I will have to read up about this. I had not heard of her philanthropy.

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  3. Penny and Lisa, I'd like to think that this museum would become a destination place. That people would visit Arkansas to see it, and explore the rest of this really beautiful state while there. We went for a few days in 1998 to visit relatives and were quite taken with it. I love it that she put it there. We tend to think of 'art' as in New York or Boston or Chicago or California. I am so pleased it is now in Arkansas too. Art shouldn't be a 'snob' thing, but for everyone. We don't have to be schooled in it to like what we like. We don't have to know the reason why something appeals or doesn't. Whew, I really went on and on, didn't I? :<)

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  4. I can see why you went on and on. I just read about this. WOW. I too want to go. Them making it free to enter is amazing. Just think of all the people that it will touch. I think all the big art collectors and museums that are pooh poohing her are the ones that wish they had the monetary backing she has. Go Girl is all I can say.

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  5. Lisa, I'm so touched you came back and read it, and wrote again! I feel just the same way. Some are dredging up her past, and her alcohol problems, but I don't think that has anything to do with this. Let the museum be what it is - that's how I feel. And thank her for it. She did not have to do this.

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  6. This is a pretty amazing place and also amazing that it has come about.
    Just as you say, this rich heiress didn't HAVE to do this, but I am glad that she did. The architecture and landscape design is very unusual and modern. I would love to see it.
    Thanks for telling me about it and linking to all the other articles about it!

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  7. I assume that the picture shows the Wal Mart heiress? What a beautiful and elegant lady she looks, possessed with a sense of humour that is not only detectable in her smile but also in the little "We're glad you're here" film on the museum's website. Thank you for posting this! Although it is highly unlikely that I will ever get to see it for real, to know that it exists makes me glad.

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  8. It's always good to hear when someone with money does something worthwhile for everyone. This sounds like a fantastic museum. And free? Wow!

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  9. Kay, I so want to go there. It feels like the inside and outside just mesh - like they belong together. That's the gift of vision.

    Librarian, what I love about her is exactly that- she is beautiful but doesn't have all the 'enhancements' to make her younger. I love what you wrote. You're right - sometimes just knowing something wonderful is in the world is good.

    Kay, I just love the whole idea of this.

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  10. Nan, I so agree ! I saw the feature they did on CBS (Sunday morning news? 60 minutes? Can't remember which), and I was fascinated. It's so irritating and provincial for art critics to imply that the people of Arkansas aren't deserving of such a beautiful museum or such beautiful art. And how wonderful for the heiress to spend her money, creating something of beauty for all to share.

    Hugs, Carol

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  11. I saw the piece on CBS also - was so impressed by her - and so annoyed at the people who were appalled to have art "buried" in Arkansas ... I recall (former Laureate) poet Ted Kooser saying in an article how the west and east coast seem to regard everything else as "flyover" states not worthy of anyone's attention. Maybe this wonderful museum will help alter some people's attitudes...

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  12. Susan, I sure hope it will! I hope people flock to Arkansas. I hate snobbery like that - in paintings or books or anything. Art is for people. Period. I'm so pleased by all the comments to this posting.

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Now that I am a grandmother, it seems that I am often late in replying to your most-appreciated comments. But I read them as soon as they come in, and I will write as soon as I can. Please do come back and check. I love these blogging conversations. A little addendum - I've just spent quite a long time catching up with dear notes you left me months ago!! I do hope you can get back to read them. And I'm trying to be much more prompt now!

Also, you may comment on any post, no matter how old, and I will see it.