2014 represented Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’s third full year of operations (the Museum opened on 11/11/11). Acclaimed exhibitions and significant acquisitions marked important milestones during the year.

Top Three Busiest Days of the Year

Friday, November 28: 3,711

Saturday, September 20: 3,294

Saturday, December 27: 3,147

At A Glance

State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now

On September 13, 2014, Crystal Bridges launched State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now, an unprecedented exhibition featuring 227 works by more than 100 artists from across the country. This one-of-a-kind exhibition was on view through January 19, 2015, and was viewed by 174,570 Museum visitors. Without a doubt, State of the Art was the most impactful event of 2014. The project garnered national attention and placed Crystal Bridges at the forefront of an ongoing discussion about art in America.

Curating the Exhibition
The Search
Exhibition curators Don Bacigalupi and Chad Alligood connected with approximately 525 professional colleagues to collect recommendations of local/regional artist whose work has not yet been fully recognized on a national level. These contacts provided an estimated 10,000 recommendations. Over the course of a year, the curators logged more than 100,000 miles, crisscrossing the United States to visit nearly 1,000 of the recommended artists, from which they selected 102 for inclusion in the unprecedented exhibition.
Sharing the Story
The unique approach to curating an exhibition captured the attention of the national media, resulting in stories by The New York Times, on CBS Evening News, CBS Sunday Morning, and the Huffington Post.

View Media

State of the Art encompassed 19,000 square feet of gallery space. Walls were built to provide an addition 5,000 running feet of space for wall-mounted works. Exhibition materials were designed to share the voice of the artists and their stories with visitors, both inside the Museum and virtually. These included:



In-gallery interpretives including traditional text labels, digital labels (iPads), multimedia audio guide, and two touch-screen kiosks with artist background.



A trio of brochures for a variety of audiences: an overall map/guide; Collection Connections self-guided tour; and a Family Guide.


An exhibition catalog comprised of a 48-page book and 102 individual artist “cards,” with artwork on one side and information/quotes highlighting the artist on the other side.
Engaging and Educating
An exciting element of State of the Art was working with the artists themselves. The Museum brought more than 60 artists on site for planned programming—an average of three artists per week for the 18 weeks. These artists offered lectures, workshops, gallery talks, demonstrations, and book signings. More than 70 programs and 250 public tours were offered in 18 weeks. Of these, 17 of these programs were offered online as iTunes U programs. School tours served more than 12,000 students, and teacher professional development was held for more than 150 educators. Three multi-day programs offered more programming depth:

At A Glance

Global Citizen and Moshe Safdie

Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie, was on view from May 31 through September 1, 2014, in locations all around the Museum. The exhibition featured scale models, photos, and video of many of the international projects Safdie has designed, including Crystal Bridges. Moshe Safdie visited the Museum in person during the exhibition and presented sold-out lectures for Museum Members and the public.

At A Glance

Frank Lloyd's Wright's Bachman-Wilson House

In early 2014, Crystal Bridges announced that Frank Lloyd Wright’s Bachman-Wilson House would be coming to Crystal Bridges. Built in 1954 in New Jersey, the house has been encroached upon by the nearby Millstone River over the past decades. To preserve it, the house was deconstructed at its original location in New Jersey during the winter and spring, and was shipped in pieces to Northwest Arkansas. The house will be reconstructed on the grounds and open for public tours in 2015.

Construction Progress

A Master Plan for the site was developed and preparation of the building’s new site, on the southeast side of the Museum overlooking Crystal Spring, was completed in 2014. This included the clearing and leveling of the hillside, and construction of a 250-foot stacked-rock retaining wall. A basement was constructed, which was a part of Wright’s original design that was not executed at the New Jersey site. The basement will house the large HVAC system required for public access to the home, and will also provide storage. The Trails and Grounds team has also developed a landscape design for the house, to be implemented before it opens to the public in 2015.

Partnership with Fay Jones School of Architecture
Crystal Bridges partnered with the Fay Jones School of Architecture, University of Arkansas, in the development of an information pavilion to accompany the Bachman-Wilson House. Students in the school’s Design and Fabrication program designed a structure that will complement the environment and the design of the home and serve as an entryway to the site. The pavilion will feature didactics on Frank Lloyd Wright, Usonian architecture, and the history of the Bachman-Wilson House. The students completed their design and fabrication and moved the structure to the Museum grounds in 2014. Interior finishing and installation of didactics will take place in 2015.

The Museum’s Communications team has documented the process of installation of the Bachman-Wilson House at every step, including photography and video of the deconstruction of the home in New Jersey, site preparation at Crystal Bridges, and reconstruction. Five videos of the process were posted to the Museum’s website in 2014, and nine blog posts were published. These are consistently among the most-read posts to the Museum blog.
The acquisition of the Bachman-Wilson House has drawn significant attention from the national media, including the New York Times, Residential Architect, Architectural Record , and The Art Newspaper.


At A Glance

The William S. Paley Collection: A Taste for Modernism

The William S. Paley Collection: A Taste for Modernism, on view at Crystal Bridges from March 15 through July 7, 2014, featured more than 60 works of art from the extraordinary private collection of William S. Paley, the late founder and guiding spirit of CBS. Highlights included works by Paul Gauguin, André Derain, Henri Matisse, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, as well as Picasso’s Boy Leading a Horse.

At A Glance

Leo Villareal’s Buckyball

One year after Leo Villareal’s Buckyball was installed on a temporary basis on Crystal Bridges’ grounds, we were pleased to announce the permanent acquisition of the sculpture for the Crystal Bridges collection. Our staff and guests alike are delighted to make this vibrant work a permanent feature at Crystal Bridges!

At A Glance

Jeff Koons's Hanging Heart (Gold/Magenta)

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, in early February, 2014, Crystal Bridges announced the acquisition of Hanging Heart (Gold/Magenta), a monumental sculpture by internationally recognized artist Jeff Koons. The bright gold heart, which measures some 9 1/2 feet wide, surmounted by an enormous magenta stainless steel “ribbon,” is now suspended from the ribbed ceiling of Eleven, the Museum's restaurant. Following installation, Pop Art icon Jeff Koons visited Crystal Bridges in July for a public lecture and photoshoot with the work.