Crystal Bridges is open Wed. through Mon. with free, timed tickets required.

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Crystal Bridges is open Wed. through Mon. with free, timed tickets required.

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Learn More >
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Tales from the Museum Store: Harry Connick Jr., The Sandman, and Me

Sand Painting: Deep Sea Black 2, by Claus Bosch

The day started out as an ordinary Saturday at the Museum Store.  But at Crystal Bridges, you never know who might visit on any given day.  It was about 11:30 a.m., and the team was readying the store for guests who would visit after they toured the Museum.  I was sitting at my desk doing some administrative work when my phone rang.  It was Kelly, one of our store associates.  She was almost whispering, but she told me I might want to come out to the sales floor.  Anticipating a problem, I asked her how I could help.  Her whisper intensified when she said “Harry Connick Jr and his wife are shopping in the store!”   Of course, after checking my hair and makeup, I rushed out to the floor.  (It was important for me to look and act managerial in case he needed assistance finding an item to take home.) Turns out Harry—we’re now on a first name basis—didn’t need help with his selection at all.  It’s no wonder, since he picked out one of our most popular items, called Sand Pictures.


Sand Pictures are the creation of the Klaus Bosch, also known as the Sandman.  The idea was born in the early 1960s in California where a group of artists launched a research project on kinetic art.  One of the results was a moving sand picture.  Later, in the 1980s, Klaus was in search of ways to express his own creativity.  He tried painting with watercolor and oils, and then pencil sketching.  But when he discovered the fascinating sand pictures, he knew at once that this was his place in the art world.  He taught himself how to create them and has refined his technique over the years.


Sand Pictures are the perfect combination of art, nature, and science. Each picture contains a combination of natural sands, crushed minerals, and synthetic materials.  There are from four to seven densities of material in each one.  Since different minerals have different weights, the sands don’t mix, resulting in beautiful layers and textures.  Mountains, valleys, and dunes form before your very eyes.  The sand pictures are ever-changing works of art.


There are many sizes and shapes available. The round one pictured above is part of the Deep Sea Series (like the one Harry selected).  It can be turned on its base, enabling the sand to shift and produce new landscapes each time. The Aurora Borealis, also pictured below, is part of the Movie Series.  The Aurora Borealis has turquoise and blue tones and features a background photo taken by award-winning Norwegian photographer Bjarne Riesto. You’ll never grow tired of turning the frame to watch a new work of art form.  Stop by the Museum Store to peruse the many different Sand Picture options and tell them Harry Connick Jr. sent you!


Aurora Borealis, Sand Painting by Claus Bosch

Aurora Borealis, Sand Painting by Claus Bosch



  1.' Sue Ekdahl says:

    We bought a Sand Art Picture after reading the Harry Connick article and we are enjoying it very very much. Thank you Harry, for visiting our Crystal Bridges Museum!!! We are grateful to Alice Walton and her family for this gift to our State .

    • Linda DeBerry says:

      Hi Sue! I’m glad you are enjoying the Sand Art! If Mr. Connick returns, we’ll be sure to pass on your thanks! 😉

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