Did you know that Crystal Bridges is experimenting with virtual reality? Crystal Bridges Virtual Reality (or CBVR) uses unique virtual reality videos and technology to transport us through the frame and into the world of some of Crystal Bridges’ most popular artworks. As part of this project, the museum is developing a series of videos so you can experience and interact with the museum like never before.
In the spirit of practicing good social distancing, check out these virtual videos and get closer than ever to some of our paintings…while staying at home:
Our newest CBVR video takes us into the neighborhood of Kerry James Marshall’s Our Town, allowing us to experience the artwork like never before. This narrated CBVR video peels back the layers of the painting to highlight new details and symbolism of this iconic artwork.
Kerry James Marshall’s work often explores themes of racial identity, community, and belonging. Our Town is part of his Garden Project series, in which low-income housing projects are ironically rendered as idyllic places. The carefully painted houses, manicured lawn, and bright sky coexist uneasily with graffiti scribbles and trees tied with yellow ribbons, suggesting war or tragedy.
– Read our interview with Kerry James Marshall when he visited the museum a few years back.
– Watch our Spotlight Talk with Marshall in which he discusses art, community, and mentoring the next generation of artists.
– Read our Guide Program on Our Town – a great educational resource for kids and adults!
– Use our Classroom Connection guide to have a conversation about this painting with your kids or students.
– Use our Activity Guide and create a fun art activity at home with the kids based on this painting
Check out our other immersive CBVR video: Kindred Spirits by Asher B. Durand. Journey into this Hudson River Valley landscape and see new layers of the painting like never before.
Durand painted Kindred Spirits as a memorial to Thomas Cole, who had recently died. Cole stands with a portfolio on an outcropping in the Catskill Mountains. He converses with William Cullen Bryant, a naturalist and poet.
Want even more CBVR? Take a virtual tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright Bachman-Wilson House, R. Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome, and more on our CBVR page!
Digital Innovation and Virtual Experiences supported in part by JB Hunt and PRISMA.
[Image credit: Our Town, Kerry James Marshall, 1995, 101 x 143 in. (256.5 x 363.2 cm), Acrylic and collage on canvas, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2009.3]