Today, high-quality quartz crystals are mined from the mountains and caverns of Arkansas. Yet this iridescent, enigmatic material has captivated artists, religious leaders, monarchs, and healers across the world for thousands of years.
Organized by Crystal Bridges curator of contemporary art Lauren Haynes with guest curator Joachim Pissarro, Crystals in Art: Ancient to Today is the first exhibition of its kind to explore the complex and varied connections between crystal and art throughout the world, spanning history and geography. View ancient artifacts such as engraved gems, figurines, and more alongside works from contemporary artists around the world that explore the power of crystal in art by drawing on its form, properties, and mysterious qualities.
Featuring more than 75 works from Ancient Egypt, Rome, China, and beyond, discover how the power of crystal transcends the boundaries of time and space.
A full-color catalog, published by the University of Arkansas Press, is available for purchase in our Museum Store or call 479.657.2310 to order.
Special Exhibition Drop-In Tour
October 21, 2019 - January 6, 2020
For groups of 10 or more, please reach out to our Group Tour department for coordination and assistance with tickets and museum amenities.
Call 479-418-5746 or visit the Group Tours page.
James Dyke & Helen Porter
Blakeman’s Fine Jewelry, Frank and Pat Bailey, Marybeth and Micky Mayfield, Morris Foundation, Inc.,
Kyle, Maury and Finn Peterson, and JT and Imelda Rose.
Alexis Arnold, Smithsonian Nature Guide: Rocks and Minerals, 2019, Book, borax 9 1/2 × 8 1/2 × 6 in., Courtesy of the artist
Maker Unkown, Statuette of Venus, Roman 100-1 BC Rock crystal, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California, 78.AN.248
Maker Unkown, Mughal period (1526-1858): Islamic Attributed to India mid-17th century, Mango-Shaped Flask, Rock crystal; set with gold, enamel, rubies and emeralds, Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Mrs. Charles Wrightsman Gift, 1993 (1993.18)
Albrecht Dürer, German, Nuremberg 1471-1528 Nuremberg, Melencolia I, 1514 Engraving, 9 1/2 x 7 1/2 in., Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Anonymous Gift, 2003 (2003.446.1)
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Jean-Valentin Morel, French, 1794-1860 Standing Cup, 1850-1851, French Rock crystal, silver gilt, enamel, pearls Height: 9 1/4 in. Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Friends of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Gifts, 1997 (1997.14)
Albrecht Dürer, German, Nuremberg 1471-1528 Nuremberg Melencolia I, 1514 Engraving 9 1/2 x 7 1/2 in., Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Anonymous Gift, 2003 (2003.446.1)
Alexis Arnold, Smithsonian Nature Guide: Rocks and Minerals, 2019 Book, borax 9 1/2 × 8 1/2 × 6 in. Courtesy of the artist
Marina Abramović, Self Portrait with Quartz Crystal, 2018, Salt and quartz crystals, 22 7/16 x 20 15/32 x 11 13/16 in., Private Collection, Vienna, Austria
Alexis Arnold, Untitled (Chromalith II), 2019, Epoxy resin, dichoric film, steel, enamel, 8 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 13 in., Courtesy of the artist
Taweret Figurine, 525-332 B.C., First Persian Period – Late Period: Egyptian, Rock crystal, 4 1/8 x 1 1/2 x 2 1/6 in., Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1944 (44.4.67)
String of beads, ca. 2030-1640 B.C, Middle Kingdom: Egyptian, Carnelian, amethyst, garnet, hematite, modern string, Length: 7 11/16 in., Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Egypt Exploration Fund, 1898 (99.4.29)
String of beads, ca. 2030-1640 B.C., Middle Kingdom: Egyptian, Carnelian, amethyst, hematite, garnet, modern string, Length: 9 5/16 in., Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Egypt Exploration Fund, 1898 (99.4.31)
String of beads with scarab, ca. 2030-1640 B.C., Middle Kingdom: Egyptian, Carnelian, amethyst, garnet, hematite, modern string, Length: 16 1/16 in., Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Egypt Exploration Fund, 1898 (99.4.32)
Rock crystal Statuette of a Lion, 3rd – 4th century, Early Byzantine: Roman or Byzantine, Rock crystal, 1 1/2 x 2 1/8 x 1 in., Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Ada Small Moore, 1955 (55.135.6)
Ye Zhongsan, Snuff bottle, 1915, Ink and colors on crystal, 2 3/4 x 2 1/4 in., Lent by the Asian Art Museum. Gift of the Asian Art Museum Foundation from the Collection of Ransom Cook
A562841, Skull, carved rock crystal, Smithsonian Institution, Department of Anthropology
De Wain Valentine, Clear Portal, 1969-2014, Cast polyester resin, 24 x 17 1/2 x 4 in., © De Wain Valentine, Courtesy of the Artist and Almine Rech
Daniel Arsham, Blue Calcite Column of Footballs, 2016, Blue calcite crystal, hydrostone, 144 x 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 in., Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin
Alexis Arnold, Smithsonian Nature Guide: Rocks and Minerals, 2019, Book, borax, 9 1/2 × 8 1/2 × 6 in., Courtesy of the artist
Gisela Colon, Morph (Iridescent Platinum), 2018, Blow-molded acrylic, 36 x 26 x 12 in., Courtesy of the artist and GAVLAK Gallery, Los Angeles and Palm Beach
Anthony James, Portal Icosahedron, 2019, Steel, glass, LED Lights, 80 × 82 × 82 in., Courtesy of the artist
Anthony James, Portal Icosahedron, 2019, Steel, glass, LED Lights, 40 × 40 × 40 in., Courtesy of the artist
Marilyn Minter, Crystal Swallow, 2006, Enamel on metal, 96 x 60 in., Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Promised gift of Jeanne and Michael Klein, 2007
Large specimen of dogstooth calcite crystals, brownish in color, The University of Arkansas Museum Collections
Ólafur Eliasson, Your Luna Nebula, 2015, Partially-silvered crystal, acrylic paint, and stainless steel, 65 3/4 x 64 1/8 x 5 7/8 in., The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund, (2015.550)
Alexis Arnold, Little Universe (Yellow), 2015, Concrete, optical glass, spray paint, 6 1/2 x 10 x 7 in., Collection of Danelle and Matthew Ebbel
Large specimen of haystack quartz crystals, The University of Arkansas Museum Collections
Ai Weiwei, Chandelier, 2015, Copper, crystal, and light fixtures, 400 x 241 x 231 cm, Courtesy of the artist, Image courtesy of the Ai Weiwei Studio