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A Revolutionary Museum Itinerary Based on the We the People Exhibition

a white banner that says

A rare, original print of the US Constitution is on view to the public at Crystal Bridges and will be in conversation with American art in We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy, now through January 2, 2023. Among the rare documents and influential artworks, visitors will have an opportunity to explore constitutional themes of equality, freedom, and justice in the context of rights and the role of art in response.

The exhibition is located in the museum’s Modern Art Gallery, among the collection galleries. Depending on time of day, there might be a line to enter the exhibition, but visitors can enjoy several interactives while waiting in line, including a Road to Revolution wall timeline and a digital interactive to test your Constitution trivia.

If you are planning a Crystal Bridges visit specifically to see We the People, here’s an itinerary to plan your museum trip and visit all things revolutionary:


 1. Try your hand at artmaking in the Constitution Studio

Located just off Walker Landing, the Studio is an artmaking space for kids and adults alike that is rebranding as the Constitution Studio during the course of the exhibition. This hands-on space welcomes visitors of all ages to engage creatively with the ideas that inspire our nation with themed artmaking projects and activities.


an artmaking space at Crystal Bridges with tables and designs on the walls inspired by the we the people exhibition
Photo by Stephen Ironside

2. Shop the store pop-up and have a hot dog on Walker Landing

The Museum Store will have a pop-up store located at the end of We the People with branded merch, books, and gifts to remember the time you saw the Constitution at Crystal Bridges. After shopping, take a break out on Walker Landing and enjoy food cart favorites like hot dogs, BBQ sandwiches, and cold drinks.


a display of museum store products on tables of differing heights near a sunny window
Photo by Stephen Ironside

 3. Discover more revolutionary art in the collection galleries

Want to continue your exploration of art that responds to American history after touring the exhibition? Crystal Bridges is an American art museum, after all! Here is a list of some of the artworks we recommend visiting to continue exploring artistic responses to the nation’s founding principles:

Early American Art Galleries


Children viewing the artwork We the People
Nari Ward We the People (black version), 2015, Shoelaces, 8 ft. × 27ft. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas.

Nari Ward, We the People, 2015

Nari Ward is known for his sculptures made from found materials discovered in and around New York City. With the hanging shoelaces spelling out the words “We the People,” Ward asks us to reconsider the phrase. Has its meaning changed? Who are “the people”? How do these words apply to our society today?


nineteenth-century painting of a tavern scene where people animatedly talk with one another, some standing, some sitting at a table
John L. Krimmel, The Village Politicans, ca. 1819, oil on canvas, 35 1/2 × 48 1/4 in., Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2007.5.

John L. Krimmel, The Village Politicians, ca. 1819

It may have been turned into a meme, but this painting marks an early example of a genre painting (a scene from everyday life). In 1819, political topics discussed might have been the Panic of 1819, the first major financial crisis in the US, continuing debate about the expansion of slavery, or even then-president James Monroe. What community conversations are carried out in scenes like this today?


a person walks a gallery bridge looking at a neon-red work on a wall that spells
Photo by Ironside Photography / Stephen Ironside.

Glenn Ligon, Untitled (America), 2018

Glowing in red neon, “AMERICA” beckons the viewer, much like our country which has often served as a beacon of hope for many around the world. However, by coating the front of the tubes in black paint and inverting the word, Glenn Ligon acknowledges that the United States also embodies negative associations tied to dark histories and continuing acts of oppression. Sporadically flashing off and on, Ligon’s work visualizes his observation that for many, “America, for all its dark deeds, is still this shining light.”


Contemporary Art Gallery


two people holding hands look at a black and white collage work featuring images of activists and phrases such as
Photo by Stephen Ironside

Mickalene Thomas, Guernica (Resist #3), 2021

Mickalene Thomas’s work layers imagery from the civil rights and Black Lives Matter movements to create parallels between histories of violence and injustice across time and place.