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The Proposal, Crystal Bridges Style

Robert Indiana LOVE

Jan Hagan staffs Crystal Bridges’ Call Center and often shares with our blog readers some of the remarkable human encounters he has with the people he talks to on the phone.  He is often instrumental in helping guests by offering directions, making recommendations, answering questions, and occasionally helping fulfill very special requests. Since it is Thanksgiving, we should mention how very thankful we are here at Crystal Bridges for Jan and for the many many other Guest Services staff and volunteers who regularly go the extra mile to make a guest’s experience at our Museum special.  –LD

Newly acquired and now on view: Jeff Koons, Hanging Heart (Gold/Magenta), 1994-2006 Mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating © Jeff Koons. Photography by Marc F. Henning.

Jeff Koons, Hanging Heart (Gold/Magenta), 1994-2006
Mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating
© Jeff Koons. Photography by Marc F. Henning.

Robert knew he had a big problem and he could be in big trouble.

After weeks of planning and discussions regarding the menu, the music, the timing, and logistics, the big day was here … tonight Robert would propose marriage to the love of his life at The Hive restaurant at the wonderful 21C boutique hotel and art gallery.

Bounding out of bed early that morning, Robert was anxious to nail down the last-minute details and reconfirm his arrangements for the most important dinner of his life. By midmorning he felt comfortable enough to take a break and relax in his favorite chair. He felt strangely at peace as everything seemed to be coming together just as he had hoped.

Just then the phone rang.

“Hello, this is Robert, talk to me!”

It was then Robert first heard the news. A minor fire in the kitchen at The Hive at 21C had knocked the restaurant out of commission for the night – this night of all nights. His engagement dinner was cancelled! What now?

When Robert reached the Call Center here at Crystal Bridges I could tell his situation was serious as soon as I answered the phone.

“Good Morning, Crystal Bridges Museum. This is Jan. Can I help you?”

“Uh, Hi Jan, I have a big problem and I really hope you can help me.”

Robert relayed how his plans for his big dinner that evening had literally gone up in smoke and he was now frantically searching for solutions. Relatives of both he and his fiancée-to-be had arrived in town and were set to surprise the newly engaged couple when they returned home from dinner that night. Clearly, postponing the dinner was not an option.

As we talked, a new plan began to develop for the evening that would culminate with a dinner proposal at Crystal Bridges’ renown restaurant, Eleven.

loveRobert will lead his girlfriend from 21C down the Crystal Bridges Trail to the Art Trail and James Terrell’s’ Skyspace: The Way of Color and the wonderful sunset experience the Skyspace provides. Next, further down the Art Trail, comes a stop at Robert Indiana’s popular LOVE sculpture where a prearranged invitation will announce a special dinner just ahead at Eleven.

Finally, after a memorable romantic dinner at a cozy window table, the couple’s server will announce that a special “”nightcap” awaits them just under the magnificent Jeff Koon’s Hanging Heart in the middle of the restaurant. Here one of their close friends will secretly capture on video Robert’s presentation of the custom-crafted engagement ring along with his “ask” and her response. It should be a very special evening and it shows that sometimes the best plans are born from extraordinary circumstances!

By the way, news came into the Call Center the next day … She said yes!

Linda DeBerry
Senior Copy Editor / Publications Manager

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