This is the patio where I have a coffee each morning with Pearl the dog.
Pearl wasn’t camera shy; she was chasing deer
When I tell people I’m heading to Arkansas for a holiday I get befuddled looks or barbs about yokels, hillbillies and inevitably someone makes a crack about banjos and Deliverance. I suppose it’s just easier to accept a stereotype or a cliché. Their loss. Before my first trip to Arkansas I explained that I was going there because one of my best friends lived in Fayetteville. Now, after I’ve seen Northwest Arkansas for myself, when someone asks, ‘Why there?’ I tell them that Fayetteville is the new Paris.
On this visit my friend was keen to show me NW Arkansas’s latest addition: Crystal Bridges Museum. She’d lauded it as one of the best Art Museums in the country. I told her I’d love to go.
Here’s the thing about stereotypes and clichés… even though I think NW Arkansas is one of the prettiest places I’ve visited, and even though I’d consider retiring there, I was carrying a pretty big chip on my shoulder about this museum.
You see… I live in Europe. I’ve toured so many, so very very many world class museums, castles, cathedrals, art galleries, National Trust and National Heritage homes that, of late, I’ve soured on the whole tourist-museum-visit thing. Additionally, I often find art museums to be the least interesting of all the touristic museum-type locales. In fact, of all the places I’ve been there have only been two art museums that I have loved enough to want to visit again and again: Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery and the Netherlands’ Kröller-Müller Museum. Now I have a third: Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas.
The art inside Crystal Bridges was interesting and informative – I know almost nothing about American art or artists – but what I loved, what I actually still dream about, is the architecture. I want to shake the hand of the person who designed this dream-space. Indeed, I want to live inside the Crystal Bridges museum.
There is one specific gallery in one wing of the museum that I covet as a house. I didn’t want to leave. This gallery is surrounded on two sides by a man made/enhanced pond, which creates it own living art inside the room; the ripples in the water reflect off the ceiling. I know where I’d put my desk, my bed, my quilting table…
I only took a few pictures of artwork. If art’s your thing you can visit the museum website and look at their collection online. If you are like me and love architecture and design… you may see one or two images in my photographs below that will spark your imagination.
Click any image below to see the image enlarged with captions.