Sunday, May 12, 2013

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

We started our day with breakfast at Mimi's Cafe, then we all went over to the new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, which has been open for about 18 months now.  Founded by Alice Walton, daughter of Sam Walton the founder of Walmart, the museum is free to the public, except for some special exhibits which have a small fee.
It is located in a nice wooded area with lovely landscaped exterior which includes many outside walking paths. The building and the outside area is all part of the "Art Work" which the building was built to hold.  There are many outside pieces of art work, including this metal tree outside the entrance.
You need to take an elevator (or stairs) down to the lowest level where the museum collection is held.  There is a large pond in the middle of the museum, and as you view the collection you are essentially walking around the pond.  So the flow is easy to follow, unlike some museum which I have been in where you get "lost" inside the building, not knowing if you saw that "room" or not.

Pictures are allowed inside, but no flash.  Because people were constantly moving, some of the pictures did not turn out, but over all I am pleased with how the camera did.  Below are some of the better pictures, and friends and family might notice some of the people in the pictures.

Above is what Marcia and I considered "the Ugly Corner".  Not because the paintings were bad, but the subjects did not seem to be the best looking "subjects".  The two below are the type which we really liked, good outdoor scenes, some of places we had visited last year such as Yosemite's Sentinel Dome, shown below.

 Some of the rooms had blue walls, and some had peach colored walls.  The wood ceilings ran throughout most of the museum.
 Above the graduating boy strolls toward me, while below his older brother quietly admires some of the art work.
 While below the middle child takes a moment to do what she loves to do, visit with others.

 At certain points within the museum you can view out windows on both sides.  At this point we were about half-way through the museum, going at a much faster pace than one normally would want, but it was a busy, important day, and we knew that time was limited.
As we neared the end, there was a change from paintings, to sculptures.

 I love it when my kids talk to nice strangers...this man (above) looked very tired.  It is a long walk all the way around the museum.....
 No, he is part of the exhibit.  From a slight distance, he looked so real...and as you got close, he still looked real.  Amazing....

 This guy (above) asked me about the kids, and was so impressed by how they were so well behaved.  He said that sometimes he meat people who are so if they were just half of a person....
Yep, he was part of the exhibit too.  It is a self portrait by Evan Penny who was born in South Africa, but now lives in Toronto.  When you look into the face, into the glasses, it is so life like that it was freaky.

Well, we had seen and heard was time to start finding our way out.  But below is one last look through a window at what was the start of our tour.

 We exited by passing through the large eating area, and below you can see what I think is one artist concept of the noodles found in abc soup.
 The month of May feature in the special collection area was some of the works of Norman Rockwell.  It cost $10 to view, but they also limit the number of people passing through at any given time.  The earliest we could have see it was 4:00 pm, so we had to pass on this one because Ryan graduates at 4 pm.  (The graduation will be in the next blog.)

So we moved outside for a few pictures.  Below Shelley, my children's mother, wanted to get a few shots of the kids with their father (me) and grandfather (her father).  But with three different types of cameras, the kids had to show her how to operate a few of them, which is always a good photo time for me.  :)
 Above Ryan helps his mother with his new phone camera, while Skruffy just sits there unamused.  Below Michael gets the camera ready so that all she has to do is push the button (notice Skruffy has moved on to other things...)

 Above Stephanie is still enjoying the event, while below Bubba is about ready to head on back to the motel. 
They do allow dogs along the trails, but not in the museum.  It was a relatively cool day, and they did just fine in the car, with windows down and water in a bowl on the seat, while we were in the museum for 90 minutes or so.  One would want to spend more time, and there is covered parking if you are lucky enough to get into the covered parking area. They also have close by lots to park at with a free shuttle running throughout the day.

Overall the visit to the museum was too short, but well worth it.  And to think, it is all provided free by Walmart, thanks to Alice Walton and the Walton Foundation.

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