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Crystal Bridges Announces Jordan Poorman Cocker (Kiowa) as Curator of Indigenous Art

Poorman Cocker joins the team from the Institute of American Indian Art with extensive experience in curating, researching, and writing about Indigenous art.

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BENTONVILLE, Ark.Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces the appointment of Jordan Poorman Cocker as a new, full-time curator of Indigenous art. An enrolled member of the Kiowa Tribe, Poorman Cocker investigates interconnections between Indigenous research methodologies and Indigenous museum practices by linking relational world views to art. At Crystal Bridges, she plays a key role in strengthening relationships with Indigenous artists, expanding the collection of Indigenous art, providing opportunities for reciprocity through collaboration, and helping shape the vision for the museum’s expansion. 

“Jordan is a deeply knowledgeable artist and scholar of Indigenous art with strong ties to Indigenous artists and communities regionally, nationally, and internationally,” said Crystal Bridges Chief Curator Austen Barron Bailly. “She brings exceptional expertise and vision to our institution. Jordan’s leadership and contributions to developing the museum’s collection and presentation of Indigenous art will ensure it reflects the richness and diversity of Indigenous cultures and will be instrumental to helping Crystal Bridges advance its mission to welcome all to explore the unfolding story of America.”   

Poorman Cocker has dedicated more than 10 years to the study and advancement of Indigenous art. Her extensive knowledge of the field will play a pivotal role as Crystal Bridges continues to grow its collection to encompass myriad histories, aesthetics, and cultural expressions.  

Prior to her current appointment, Poorman Cocker held curatorial positions at various institutions, including the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma. She serves as the 2021-2025 Terra Foundation Guest Co-Curator of Indigenous Art at the Block Museum, Evanston, Illinois.   

“I am excited to join Crystal Bridges and work to reinforce the museum’s commitment to showcasing the wide range of artistic traditions within the United States,” said Poorman Cocker. “It’s inspiring to be part of a fine arts museum located here on Caddo, Quapaw, and Osage ancestral territories. I’m eager to bring my scholarship to the institution, provide more opportunities for the museum to connect with Indigenous artists, and critically engage in ongoing conversations surrounding Indigenous art throughout the country.” 


About Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. Since opening in 2011, the museum has welcomed more than 10.8 million visitors across its spaces, with no cost for admission. Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 as a non-profit charitable organization by arts patron and philanthropist, Alice Walton. The collection spans five centuries of American masterworks from early American to current day and is enhanced by temporary exhibitions. The museum is nestled on 120 acres of Ozark landscape and was designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. A rare Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house was preserved and relocated to the museum grounds in 2015. Crystal Bridges offers public programsincluding lectures, performances, classes, and teacher development opportunities. Some 300,000 school children have participated in the Willard and Pat Walker School Visit program, which provides educational experiences for school groups at no cost to the schools. Additional museum amenities include a restaurant, gift store, library, and five miles of art and walking trails. In February 2020, the museum opened the Momentary in Downtown Bentonville (507 SE E Street), conceived as a platform for the art, food, and music of our time. In 2026, Crystal Bridges will complete a nearly 100,000 square foot expansion that will allow the museum to expand access for all. For more information, visit The museum is located at 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, Arkansas 72712.