Crystal Bridges announces renovations, new works and temporary closures of two galleries — Kevin Kinder

Fayetteville Flyer, 01.17.2018

If you want to see some of your favorite works at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, now is the time. More specifically, before January 9 is the right time to see them. That’s when two Early American Art Galleries housing the museum’s oldest works will be closed for a period of time to allow for a redesign of the galleries. The work to freshen the space will keep the Early American Art Galleries closed through March 16.

Crystal Bridges announced the move Tuesday (Dec. 12) along with plans for the redesigned space and the acquisition of several pieces of contemporary artwork.

“As one of the newest American art museums, Crystal Bridges continues to rethink how American art is presented,” said Rod Bigelow, Crystal Bridges Executive Director and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, in a press release announcing the changes. “We are excited to add to our permanent collection, activate new spaces, and create connections between the past and present, inviting visitors to consider the complexities inherent in the American spirit—all toward the goal of keeping the art experience engaging and accessible for our diverse audiences.”

The museum promises visitors “will engage with the permanent collection in new and invigorating ways.”

In the process, some of the works that have been on the walls during the six years since the museum’s November 2011 grand opening will be placed into storage or sent out on loan. A list of the works going on loan or being placed into storage was not available at press time.

Only the galleries hosting the oldest of Crystal Bridges’ works will be temporarily closed. Visitors can access the three other permanent collection galleries including the 1940s to Now, Early Twentieth Century, and Upper and Lower North galleries.

Several new works are among those visitors can currently view. The North Forest Area, which recently was home to blown glass works by Dale Chihuly, will reopen on Dec. 23 and will feature several newly acquired works. Among them are Tony Tasset’s “Deer,” which has been on loan to the city of Chicago; and Carol Bove’s brightly covered “Horse Lover.”

Inside the museum are several other new works. One of them is “The Cost of Removal” by Titus Kaphar. Crystal Bridges curator Lauren Haynes will present a gallery talk on Thursday afternoon to discuss Kaphar and his work.

While the Early American Art galleries are being renovated, the works can be viewed online. The temporary exhibit “The Soul of America: Art in the Age of Black Power,” which opens February 2, can also be viewed during the renovation project. Crystal Bridges trails will remain open during the changeover.