Winter can be a hard time of year for me. As the days begin to shorten, I find myself waking up to darkness and arriving home from work in that same darkness. I admit that I catch myself envying the hibernating mammals: some days it sounds so nice to climb into a nice, warm den and sleep through the cold and dark—awakening only at the first signs of spring. I miss long evening walks with my dog and the daily exposure to sunny skies.
However, this winter, something has changed. I moved to a new office in the Education wing directly off Walker Landing. Every evening, when it is time to leave, I have the pleasure of walking across the landing and watching the Museum come alive as the stars come out, the light begins to fade, and the darkness descends.
I have always been a huge fan of the architecture of Crystal Bridges. The architect, Moshe Safdie, designed a building that seems to grow out of the natural surroundings. I love the materials: the gleaming cooper, the warm organic look of the cedar banding, the curtains of glass, and smooth sections of concrete that serve to unite and support all. I love to bring friends to the Museum and watch as the building reveals itself to them.
However beautiful the building is during the daytime (and it truly is magnificent), I feel that its beauty is magnified at night. As twilight sets in, a change begins to occur. The metal and concrete seem to glisten as the light begins to fade. The water comes alive and radiates the amber ribbons of light reflected from the windows. Interior lights illuminate the curtains of glass and curved skylights adorning the buildings. Walking through Walker Landing, I get the same warm feeling that I experience sitting near an open fire—a warmth that cuts through the cold and dark. Being a part of this twilight transformation as I make my way to my car in the evenings has really helped me to push aside my “winter blues.” I get a sense of excitement as I watch. I hesitate to use this word, but it almost feels magical.
If you have not witnessed twilight at Crystal Bridges, I would definitely recommend it. It is a wonderful time to visit, savor a tasty meal in Eleven, visit your favorite works of art and, of course, watch the twilight transformation.
The Museum is open on Wednesday and Friday evenings until 9 p.m. If you find yourself at the Museum on an evening around 7:30 p.m., you might want to check out the Twilight Tour. This free public tour, led by a volunteer Gallery Guide, takes guests through the first few galleries focusing on works in the collection that have an evening or twilight theme. It is fascinating to look at how six artists went about capturing this beautiful time of day in their work.