Crystal Bridges to temporarily close galleries for redesign —

The Joplin Globe, 01.17.2018

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — The galleries of early American art at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will be closed from Jan. 9 through March 16 as curators redesign the space for the first time since the museum opened six years ago.

“As one of the newest American art museums, Crystal Bridges continues to rethink how American art is presented,” said Rod Bigelow, executive director, in a statement. “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 redesigned galleries will include both the collection’s familiar works as well as objects on loan from other institutions, such as historical Native American art, folk art, furniture and art from other regions and time periods. While the galleries are closed, the works in the early American collection will be accessible through the online Crystal Bridges gallery.

The North Forest and North Forest Trail, along with the Rock Ledge and Enfield Trails, will reopen to the public on Saturday. The trails are available for visitors, at no cost, from sunrise to sunset or during regular museum hours. Four sculptures from the permanent collection are being installed in the forest, including Tony Tasset’s 12-foot “Deer” and George Rickey’s “One Fixed Four Jointed Lines Biased.”

The North Forest debuted in May with “Chihuly: In the Forest.” The full exhibition, “Chihuly: In the Gallery and In the Forest,” included indoor and outdoor works by American artist Dale Chihuly and attracted more than 207,000 visitors, making it the highest-attended exhibition in the museum’s history, according to officials.

In other changes coming after the first of the year, “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power” will open on Feb. 3 in its U.S. debut. Focusing on the contribution of dozens of black artists, the exhibition features paintings, sculptures, street photography and murals. Tickets will be $10 per person and free for museum members and anyone younger than 18.

The exhibition was developed by the Tate Modern in London. Crystal Bridges is one of only two American venues to serve as its host; after its debut in Bentonville, the exhibition travels to the Brooklyn Museum in New York.

Closing soon

The temporary exhibition “Stuart Davis: In Full Swing” will close on Jan. 1.