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The 2021 Crystal Bridges Fall Season Guide

trail at crystal bridges in autumn

The fall season brings new art experiences and vibrant colors of nature to Crystal Bridges. Here’s what you can look forward to at Crystal Bridges as you plan your visit for fall 2021: 

COVID-19 Visitation Policies: Per CDC’s updated guidelines, we are requiring all visitors ages 2 and up and staff to wear a face covering indoors and for outdoor programs. Masks will be available upon entry for those who do not have one.

Convergence: An Outdoor Play Space concert rendering
Concept Renderings by Studio Bryan Hanes

Please pardon our construction

As soon as you turn onto Museum Way, you’ll notice there is quite a lot happening. To the left of Museum Way, in the additional parking lot, construction is underway for Whole Health Institute, a non-profit created to make a transformative approach to health and wellbeing available to everyone. The facility will be located on the museum’s 120-acre grounds and include space for interactive programs welcoming participation from the community and a convening space for up to 800 people. In addition, the building will include offices for both Whole Health Institute and Art Bridges. This new 75,000 square-foot, multi-use office and community space has an estimated completion date of 2023.

To the right of Museum Way, near Scott Family Amazeum, the museum is building a nature playscape inspired by arts, science, nature, and design, inclusive for guests of all ages. The space will invite visitors to step off the trail and into a park that uses the natural surroundings to engage the senses with interactive elements and water features that mimic the Ozark landscape.

On the other side of the Amazeum, we are also building a free parking deck to accompany all visitors to both Crystal Bridges and the Amazeum.

Please pardon our construction while we welcome new neighbors and gear up to provide even more great art and nature experiences!

North Forest Lights at Crystal Bridges

North Forest Lights is back for a final season

Have you seen the lights yet? For the past two years, North Forest Lights has been wowing its visitors with spectacular light and sound installations and a chance to experience the North Forest at night. Now, the experience is back for a third (and final!) season at Crystal Bridges, open now through January 2, 2022. Don’t miss your last chance to see what everybody’s been talking about. Learn more and get tickets here.

P.S. – Are you a Crystal Bridges member? Members receive discounted tickets to North Forest Lights and other ticketed events throughout the year! Not a member? Join today.

Discover free focus exhibitions in the galleries

Focus exhibitions tend to include fewer works than our temporary exhibitions and hone in on a particular theme rather than a broad idea. This fall, we have several exciting focus exhibitions to share in the galleries, and they are all free to enjoy!

what I know exhibition wall at crystal bridges
Photo by Ironside Photography / Stephen Ironside.
What I Know: Gifts from Gordon W. Bailey

On view now through October 11, 2021
Modern Art Gallery

What I Know is an exhibition about knowledge featuring artworks created with a variety of media by Leroy Almon, Thornton Dial, Sam Doyle, Minnie Evans, Josephus Farmer, Roy Ferdinand, Bessie Harvey, Clementine Hunter, Joe Light, Ronald Lockett, Sister Gertrude Morgan, J.B. Murray, Sulton Rogers, Nellie Mae Rowe, Welmon Sharlhorne, Herbert Singleton, and Purvis Young.

image of selena with a red backdrop and checkerboard floor
John Dyer (American, born 1947), Selena, 1992, Digital print on panel, 58 x 59 x 1 in. Courtesy of the artist.
Selena Forever/Siempre Selena

On view now through January 10, 2022
Early American Art Gallery

Throughout the 1980s and ‘90s, Grammy Award-winning artist Selena Quintanilla-Pérez became an international pop sensation, creating a legacy that has lasted far beyond her brief life. In this exhibition coming from the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas, hear her music and enjoy a selection of nine photographs in which the singer shines.

Julie Alpert: Altars, Keepsakes, Squiggles, and Bows
Photo credit: Sketch images courtesy of the artist.
Julie Alpert: Altars, Keepsakes, Squiggles, and Bows

On view now through February 21, 2022
Contemporary Art Gallery

For this immersive exhibition, artist Julie Alpert transforms a section of the gallery into a spectacle of pattern, color, and shapes such as bows, drips, roses, hearts, hashtags, and jazz hands using painted wood, collage, and modified household objects.

Cross Pollination: Heade, Cole, Church, and Our Contemporary Moment

Opens November 20, 2021
Modern Art Gallery

This interdisciplinary project takes flight from the influential series of paintings The Gems of Brazil (1863-64) by Martin Johnson Heade and expands outward to explore pollination in nature and ecology, cultural and artistic influence and exchange, and the interconnection between art and science extending from the nineteenth century to now. Learn more here. 

people eating in eleven during autumn

Enjoy seasonal coffee treats + fall foliage

While we can’t quite predict when the weather is going to change, it is a magical time at Crystal Bridges. From seasoned leaf peepers to folks who just appreciate the crisp air and majesty of autumn in nature, come to Crystal Bridges and be surrounded by 120 acres of natural Ozark forest ablaze with bright red, orange, and yellow colors. 

Want to further fulfill your fall fantasies? Stop by the Coffee Bar inside and pick up a special seasonal drink. Try an Orange-Hazelnut Hot Chocolate or our spin on the Pumpkin Spice Latte. We are proud to feature a locally crafted pumpkin spice syrup created by KYYA Chocolate, combined with coffee from Onyx Coffee Lab and milk of your choice. You will never taste a PSL quite as good as this!

The Van Cliburn Concert Series returns with Elio Villafranca on September 23

The latest installment of the Van Cliburn Concert Series, we invite you to join us for an evening of evocative performance by Steinway Artist and Grammy-nominated pianist Elio Villafranca. A masterful musician and internationally recognized performer, Elio’s combination of classical and jazz piano blended with music of the African diaspora brings passion and personality to the stage, each note carrying the weight of a well-told story. Set against the backdrop of the Great Hall and Crystal Bridges’ own natural setting, this is not one to miss. Get tickets here.

In American Waters is our next temporary exhibition, opening November 6

In American Waters: The Sea in American Painting is a new exhibition in which the marine painting is revealed to be so much more than ship portraits. Visitors will be transported across time and water on the wave of a diverse range of modern and historical artists including Georgia O’Keeffe, Amy Sherald, Kay WalkingStick, Norman Rockwell, Hale Woodruff, Paul Cadmus, Thomas Hart Benton, Jacob Lawrence, Valerie Hegarty, Stuart Davis, and many more. In this exhibition, visitors will also discover the sea as an expansive way to reflect on American culture and environment, learn how coastal and maritime symbols moved inland across the United States, and question what it means to be “in American waters.”

view of walker landing in the fall

Crystal Bridges’ 10th birthday is November 11! 

Crystal Bridges first opened to the public on 11/11/11, nearly 10 years ago. During the weekend of November 11-14, we’re celebrating this milestone with fun events and free admission to In American Waters for everyone! We hope you join us for this exciting weekend as we Cheers to 10 Years of Crystal Bridges.

students in the galleries

Back to school? Back to the museum!

School Tours are coming back on-site this fall! If you’re an educator looking for a fun and FREE field trip idea for your class, look no further than Crystal Bridges. Join us for an hour-long guided tour in the galleries, on the trails, or virtually. We offer a full menu of tour options encompassing all subject areas, grade levels, and abilities.

Peruse all the tour options here.

image of the museum store from inside
Photo by Ironside Photography / Stephen Ironside.

Shop the Museum Store

Autumn is prime shopping season for bargain hunters, so why not bag yourself a deal at your local museum? September 17 through 20, come enjoy discounts up to 75 percent off selected items such as past exhibition merchandise, books, accessories, home decor, and more.

great hall rooftop in autumn

We are closed on Thanksgiving

Crystal Bridges will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 25. Otherwise, we will maintain our normal hours.