All You Need Is Art

Crystal Bridges continues to inspire on fifth anniversary

Posted: November 11, 2016 at 1 a.m.

“Whenever I go to a museum, I always do the thing we’ll ask the audience to do: strike a pose. Take on the pose of the subjects,” dance historian Thomas F. DeFrantz says. “How do these paintings or objects want you to move? Paintings benefit from you moving in relation to them. I move myself through this experience in a way that allows me to experience happiness, joy, sometimes sadness. My movement is part of my story of my experience at the museum.”

Today marks the official fifth anniversary for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville. In its five years, the museum has become a jewel in the crown of Northwest Arkansas with its permanent collection including impressive names -- even a Frank Lloyd Wright House -- and its (often free) programming constantly engaging the Arkansas community. Also significant is the list of major temporary exhibitions the museum has hosted, boasting works from names like The Hudson River School, Georgia O'Keeffe and Norman Rockwell.

James Turrell’s skyspace ‘The Way of Color’ was one of the first incarnations of Crystal Bridges, opening before the museum itself.

Rulan Tangen says the hope of her Indigenous Peoples dance collective Dancing Earth is to translate indigenous philosophies to the broadest sense pos...

Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1956 Bachman-Wilson House opened at Crystal Bridges on the museum’s fourth anniversary last year.

Robert Indiana's "LOVE" is among permanent exhibits at Crystal Bridges Museum.


Thomas F. DeFrantz

WHEN — Performance Lab, 8 p.m. today

WHERE — Great Hall

COST — Free

Dancing Earth

WHEN — Gallery Conversation, 1 p.m. Saturday; College Hangout, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; Performance Lab, 7 p.m. Thursday

WHERE — Throughout museum

COST — All free


BONUS — Both artists will also perform during Art Night Out from 8 to 11 p.m. on Saturday. $20.


By the Numbers

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is constantly growing and improving. In its five years of operation:

— The permanent collection has grown from 1,555 pieces to more than 2,370

— Thirteen major temporary exhibitions have been on view

— The museum’s 3.5 miles of trails attracts approximately 250,000 visitors annually

— Nearly 80,000 visitors have enjoyed the Frank Lloyd Wright house since Nov. 11, 2015

— Crystal Bridges has offered nearly 3,000 programs including art-making classes, artist talks, workshops and performances

— Some 2.7 million visitors have passed through the doors to the museum since it opened Nov. 11, 2011

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