Skip to main content

Crystal Bridges Announces Upcoming Exhibitions: Norman Rockwell Paintings, Collaborations, and Angels & Tomboys

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art launches the new year with an invigorating line-up of temporary exhibitions. Highlights include collaborative projects with partner institutions both in Arkansas and abroad, and two traveling exhibitions featuring the art of beloved American illustrator Norman Rockwell and a collection of works focusing on girlhood in nineteenth-century American art.

A Partnership with the Arkansas Arts Center

Abstractions on Paper: From Abstract Expressionism to Post Minimalism

January 12 through April 29

Abstractions on Paper: From Abstract Expressionism to Post Minimalism features works from the collection of the Arkansas Arts Center of Little Rock, including prints and drawings. The works date from the late 1960s through the mid-90s, showcasing a range of different approaches and styles in dealing with the abstract. Artists represented include Americans such as Lee Krasner, Ellsworth Kelly, and Helen Frankenthaler, as well as international artists who lived or worked in the US and influenced the work of American artists. Some of the works in this diverse collection demonstrate the artists’ exploration of new media or styles, or were early sketches for later, larger works, providing insight into the methods and thought processes of some of the most well-known artists of the twentieth century. Exploring ideas of abstraction from gestural Abstract Expressionist works through geometric minimalist approaches and beyond, Abstractions on Paper offers a glimpse into the evolution of American art. This exhibition is sponsored by Curtis and Jackye Finch.

There will be no fee to view this exhibition.

A Special Traveling Exhibition

American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell

March 9 through May 27

One of the most popular American artists of the past century, Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) was a keen observer of human nature and a gifted storyteller. This traveling exhibition, organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA, features 42 original Norman Rockwell paintings and a complete set of all 323 of Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post covers. Works in the exhibition include such beloved and well-known images as Triple Self-Portrait (1960), Girl at Mirror (1954), Going and Coming (1947), and Art Critic (1955). The exhibition will also include materials from the Museum’s archives demonstrating how Rockwell worked: proceeding from preliminary sketches, photographs, color studies, and detailed drawings to finished paintings. Timed, reserved tickets will be required to view this exhibition. Tickets are $12 for non-members and will go on sale beginning Feb. 4. There is no charge for youth ages 18 and under, or for Crystal Bridges Members, who may reserve their tickets early, beginning Jan. 21.

American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell was organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts. This exhibition is made possible with the generous support from National Endowment for the Arts, American Masterpieces Program; the Henry Luce Foundation; Curtis Publishing Company; Norman Rockwell Estate Licensing Company; and the Stockman Family Foundation. The exhibition is sponsored at Crystal Bridges by the Bogle family, Hallmark Cards, Inc., and Stephens, Inc.

An International Collaboration

American Encounters: Genre Painting and Everyday Life

May 11 through August 12

American Encounters is a partnership project forged last year between Crystal Bridges, the Terra Foundation for American Art, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA, and the musée du Louvre in Paris. Each year, the group produces an intimate, focused traveling exhibition featuring artworks chosen from each of the partner institutions. This year’s offering, Genre Painting and Everyday Life, will be on view at Crystal Bridges from May 11 through August 12. Genre painting — narrative scenes depicting the everyday activities of “stock” or “typed” characters — flourished in the United States during the mid-nineteenth century. These paintings captivated American audiences and helped to express a distinctly “American” character, often through the exploration of racial, regional, or class differences. This exhibition of five paintings includes works by George Caleb Bingham, Eastman Johnson, and Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait — American painters whose works illustrate three very different cultural experiences within the greater context of the United States. These will be exhibited alongside two paintings from the Louvre that present the Dutch and English schools which helped to inspire American genre artists. The exhibition will debut at the Louvre from Jan. 23 – Apr. 22, 2013, and will travel to the High Museum of Art (Sept. 14, 2013- Jan. 14, 2014), following its stop at Crystal Bridges. There will be no fee to view this exhibition.

Supported locally in part by Crystal Bridges’ Global Initiative Fund, Stella Boyle Smith Trust, and Chuck and Terri Erwin.

A Focused Exhibition

Angels & Tomboys: Girlhood in Nineteenth-Century American Art

June 29 through September 30

In the aftermath of the Civil War, the American girl seemed transformed—at once more introspective and adventurous than the previous generation. Although the culture still prized the demure female child of the past, many saw a bolder type as the new, alternate ideal. Girlhood was no longer simple, and the complementary images of angel and tomboy emerged as competing visions of this new generation. Angels and Tomboys: Girlhood in Nineteenth-Century American Art explores the myriad ways artists portrayed young girls: from the sentimental, innocent stereotype to the free-spirited individual. The exhibition includes approximately 80 masterworks, including paintings, sculpture, prints, and photographs. Works by John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, and Thomas Eakins, together with those by leading women artists, such as Cecilia Beaux and Mary Cassatt, reveal a new, provocative psychological element not found in early Victorian portraiture; while the mischievous tomboys in Lilly Martin Spencer’s paintings and the pure angels in the works of Abbot Handerson Thayer underscore the complexity of girlhood. Angels & Tomboys: Girlhood in Nineteenth-Century American Art was organized by the Newark Museum.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is located in Bentonville, Ark. The museum is open every day but Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with extended hours until 9 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays. Additional information about Crystal Bridges is available online at

# # #