Year At A Glance
2015 represented Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’s fourth full year of
operations (the Museum opened on 11/11/11). Acclaimed exhibitions and significant
acquisitions marked important milestones during the year.
Three busiest days of the year:
January 17: 3,822
September 4: 5,482
December 31: 4,119
Van Gogh to Rothko: Masterworks from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery
February 21 through June 1, 2015
Van Gogh to Rothko featured 76 artworks by 73 influential artists from the late nineteenth century to the present, including masterpieces by some of the most prominent names in art history, such as Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe, Salvador Dalí, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, and Mark Rothko. The works were selected from the collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, one of the finest collections of twentieth-century art in the country, located in Buffalo, NY. This was the first time many of these works had toured in decades.
Crystal Bridges was one of only four venues, besides the Albright-Knox, to host this remarkable exhibition, offering Museum guests a rare opportunity to view paintings and sculptures by some of the most well-known and respected names in the art world.
Warhol’s Nature and Jamie Wyeth
Crystal Bridges presented two concurrent exhibitions that highlighted the artistic friendship between Pop artist Andy Warhol and American realist painter Jamie Wyeth. Together these exhibitions offered a fresh perspective on the lives and works of two of America’s celebrated artists.
Warhol’s Nature, July 4 through October 5, 2015
Warhol’s Nature, curated by Crystal Bridges Curator Chad Alligood from the collection of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA, took a close look at an unexplored aspect of Warhol’s work: his lifelong engagement with nature. The exhibition covered every decade of Warhol’s career, from his earliest drawings as a commercial illustrator through his well-known paintings of flowers and portraits of endangered animals.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Crystal Bridges produced a 64-page, full-color catalog featuring essays by Curator Chad Alligood; Michael Jay McClure, Associate Professor of art history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; and Matt Wrbican, Chief Archivist at the Andy Warhol Museum.
Jamie Wyeth, July 25 through October 5, 2015
Jamie Wyeth offered a retrospective of six decades of the artist’s career and the people and places that influence his life, including time spent working in Andy Warhol’s New York studio, The Factory. The exhibition was organized by the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.
Picturing the Americas: Landscape Painting from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic
November 7, 2015, through January 18, 2016
This one-of-a-kind exhibition included more than 100 stunning landscape paintings by artists from across the Western Hemisphere. The exhibition included works by well-known artists from the United States such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Grant Wood, Thomas Cole, and Thomas Hart Benton, as well as masters of the genre from Mexico (Jose Maria Velasco), Canada (Emily Carr), and Brazil (Tarsila do Amaral). Crystal Bridges was the only venue in the United States to host this once-in-a-lifetime assemblage of works from across the Americas. The exhibition was organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, and the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Picturing the Americas Symposium
November 13 and 14, 2015
In conjunction with the exhibition Picturing the Americas: Landscape Painting from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic, Crystal Bridges hosted an International Symposium featuring ten scholars from both the northern and southern hemispheres of the Americas. Mari Carmen Ramirez, Director of the International Center for the Arts of the Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston—described by Time magazine as one of the most influential Hispanics in America—presented a keynote lecture. Panel discussions featured curators from the three institutions organizing the exhibition: Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada; and the Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago.
1940s to Now Gallery
In late March, Crystal Bridges reopened its 1940s to Now Gallery, which had been closed for the de-installation of the State of the Art exhibition. It was the first major reinstallation of a permanent collection gallery since the Museum’s opening in November, 2011. The new installation of the gallery featured 71 works, including a number of notable new acquisitions, which allowed the Museum to tell an expanded story of American art since World War II. The re-installation includes an illustrated time-line of American history and focuses on several key moments to discuss how works of art both reflect and shape our understanding of our history and ourselves.
Frank Lloyd Wright House
Reconstruction of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Bachman-Wilson House on the Museum grounds was completed in the fall of 2015 and the house opened to the public on November 11. Sited on the hillside overlooking Crystal Spring, the house seems right at home at Crystal Bridges. The Museum’s Trails and Grounds crew designed and built a beautiful setting for it, with a long swath of grassy lawn encircled by native plants. As of December 31, 2015, more than 15,000 guests had toured the house.
The Communications team at Crystal Bridges created an audio tour of the Bachman-Wilson House, which details architectural highlights of the structure. The tour is loaded on hand-held devices, which are available to Museum guests at no charge.
A self-guided tour brochure was developed that features a floorplan of the Bachman-Wilson House, background about the house and architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and information about several features of the house that particularly demonstrate Wright’s distinctive style.
Model and timeline
In the Museum’s south lobby, guests may view a scale model of the Bachman-Wilson House, created by architecture students at the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas. Additional information about the house is presented in a digital time-line, accessible via an iPad, also displayed in the south lobby.
To further enhance the guest experience of Crystal Bridges grounds, the Trails and Grounds crew partnered with the Digital Media team to develop an interactive app that features a map of the trails with GPS-enabled wayfinding, a guide to outdoor artworks, a plant identification guide and bloom calendar, and additional information regarding the history, flora and fauna, and geological aspects of the site, as well as a shared photo gallery. The app, titled CBOutdoors, is available for free download to Apple or Android devices.
- GPS-enabled wayfinding
- Guide to outdoor artworks
- Plant identification guide
- Shared photo galleriers