Skip to main content

Crystal Bridges’ December Programming: Winter Break Fun, Music, and the Party of the Year

As the holiday season approaches, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art warms up guests with a holiday concert, Winter Break Wonders family fun and two great holiday parties.

Just in time for holiday visitors, new works of art abound throughout the museum this season, as changes have been made in every gallery. In the past few months, new works by Edward Hopper, Dwight William Tryon, and Marvin Dorwart Cone have gone on view, along with returning favorites, including Nam June Paik’s John Cage Robot II and three works by George Wesley Bellows that had been out on loan.

The temporary exhibition The Artists’ Eye: Georgia O’Keeffe and the Alfred Stieglitz Collection is on view through Feb. 3, 2014. Wednesday evenings now feature free admission to the exhibition from 6 to 9 p.m., no reserved tickets required. During other museum hours, advance ticket purchases are recommended. Regular admission is $5 for adults, and free for Museum Members. Admission for youth ages 18 and under is sponsored. Tickets may be reserved online or at Guest Services.

On Dec. 7, the museum hosts The Poetics of Winter, a free percussion performance by the University of Arkansas Music department. The concert will be held in the museum’s scenic Great Hall and will feature projected images from Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection, as well as winter photographs of the museum grounds submitted by the public. To submit photos, upload them to with the hashtag #CBpoeticsofwinter.

During winter break, Crystal Bridges has scheduled a full roster of fun family activities from Dec. 21 through Jan. 5, including art-making, family tours, Pop-Up Playgrounds with Marie Vukin of Project Play Every Day, and performances by the StoneLion Puppet Theatre, Mr. Stinky Feet, and Storybook Strings. Visit the museum’s website for a full schedule:

Two holiday parties are scheduled at the museum this month. Winter A-Go-Go, set for Dec. 21, is a festive event hosted by the museum’s artinfusion group, a special affinity group for museum members ages 21 to 40. This 1960s après-ski-themed party is free for artinfusion members and open to all. For information about becoming an artinfusion member, visit the Crystal Bridges website.

On New Year’s Eve, the museum will host a gala celebration: New 365 will feature new sights, sounds, tastes and new friends to kick off the new year. Overnight packages are available through 21c Museum Hotel.

A full listing of November programs is below. Information and registration are also available on the calendar of events on Crystal Bridges’ website:

Sign up for Crystal Bridges eNewsletters.

Upcoming Programs and Events

Wednesday, December 4, 6 to 9 pm
Drop-In Drawing
Drop in for a free, informal drawing session. Materials are provided and an art instructor will be on hand to get you started. Check at Guest Services for the specific location. All ages are welcome! Free, no registration required.

Thursday, December 5, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Members’ Event | Museum Store Members’ Holiday Party
Members are invited to kick off five days of holiday savings at this special Members-only holiday shopping party on Thursday evening, featuring guest artists Barbara Phillips (jewelry), Jim McKenzie (custom pens), and Julie West of The Red Sari (vintage sari scarves).

Friday, December 5 through Monday, December 9
Members’ Event | Museum Store Double Discount Days
Crystal Bridges Members enjoy four days of double discounts in the Museum Store. That’s a 20% discount on all purchases! (Excluding works by regional artists)

Friday, December 6, 11 am to 6 pm
Museum Store Event | Red Sari Trunk Show
Red Sari is a fair trade, woman-owned company that works with women artisans in Kathmandu, Nepal, who create beautiful, vibrant scarves, handbags, and other accessories through a process of fusing wool fibers with tissue silk vintage saris. Each piece is hand-made and unique, and their sale benefits the Nepali artisans by providing them an opportunity to use their skills and earn a living wage. Free, no registration required.

Saturday, December 7, 1 to 5 pm
Teen Workshop | Clay Works
Learn about hand building and embellishment techniques with ceramicist Linda Lopez. All levels are welcome. Student work will be fired and available to pick up at a later date. $40 ($32 for Members), register online or at Guest Services.

Saturday, December 7, 4:30 to 6 pm
Concert | The Poetics of Winter
Explore the natural acoustics of the Great Hall in a percussion concert by the University of Arkansas Music department. The performance will play on scenes of winter depicted in works from Crystal Bridges’ art collection, along with photographs of the Museum’s December landscape. Warm up in the Great Hall with complimentary coffee, cocoa, and tea. To submit your photos for the event, upload them to Flickr with the hashtag #CBpoeticsofwinter.

Free with online reservations.

Wednesday, December 11, 6 to 7 pm
WOW | Sensory Experiences—Winter in the Ozarks
Join Crystal Bridges Culinary Director Case Dighero at these monthly tasting experiences to sample selections of drinks and hors d’oeuvres from Eleven, inspired by Crystal Bridges collection of American art. Open to guests ages 21 and above. Sponsored by Premier Dermatology.

$30 ($24 for Members). Purchase tickets online or at Guest Services.

Thursday, December 12, 11:30 am to 2 pm
Preschool Playdate | Winter
Monthly Preschool Playdates feature performances, art projects, games, and storytelling based on themes from our collection. Activities are geared for children ages 2 to 5 with an adult. Sponsored by The Hershey Company. Free, no registration required.

Thursday, December 12, 1 to 1:45 pm
Art Talk | New York Modernism in Painting, Photography, and Poetry
The group of artists and photographers who clustered around Alfred Stieglitz in the early twentieth century included writers, as well. The most famous are poets William Carlos Williams and Marianne Moore. The artists and poets socialized together, launched magazines together, and discussed—both in print and in person—what art should be. Linda Leavell, author of a new biography of Marianne Moore titled Holding On Upside Down, will lead a discussion about the intersections between Modernist photography, painting, and poetry. It will focus on experimental technique, close observation of nature and its geometrical forms, and a shared belief in what Wassily Kandinsky called “the spiritual in art.” Among the artists discussed will be Stieglitz himself, Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Charles Demuth, and Arthur Dove.

The book will be available for purchase from the Museum Store, and Dr. Leavell will be available to sign books following the presentation.

Free with online reservations. The Art Talk reservation confirmation will be your ticket into the exhibition.

Friday, December 13, 6:30 to 8 pm
Film | American Masters: The Eloquent Eye
Pre-film mixer: 5:30 to 6:30 pm
Alfred Stieglitz’s seminal role as artist and art impresario at a time when American culture was redefining its fundamental ways of seeing, thinking and experiencing the world is the subject of the first full-length film biography of the photographer for PBS’s American Masters series. There is a need to free Stieglitz from the myths–pro and con–that have engulfed him. Stieglitz’s own photographs, and the wide influence of his ideas and activity on photographers, artists, writers, and art institutions in the first four decades of the century, define him as a singular shaping force for a new American vision of the arts and culture.

Free with online registration.

Sunday, December 15, 1 to 4 pm
Drop-In Drawing
Drop in for a free, informal drawing session. Materials are provided and an art instructor will be on hand to get you started. Check at Guest Services for the specific location. All ages are welcome! Free, no registration required.

Saturday, December 21 through Sunday, January 5
Winter Break Wonders
Check out the Museum during your school break for a variety of fun family experiences, including art-making activities, family tours, Pop-Up Playgrounds with Marie Vukin of Project Play Every Day, and performances by the StoneLion Puppet Theatre, Mr. Stinky Feet, and Storybook Strings. Watch for additional information on our website:

Saturday, December 21, 8 pm to midnight
Artinfusion Event | Winter A-Go-Go
Shake off the winter chill with this hip après-ski-themed artinfusion pick-me-up. Bundle up in your grooviest après ski wear and join us in the Great Hall for hot toddies, fondue, and choice nibblets, then watusi the night away to the far-out tunes of Fossils of Ancient Robots. Plus, get your art-making groove on with our far-out hands-on art activities. It’s sure to be the cat’s pajamas!

Designated drivers receive free sodas. Cabs from Best Way Taxi available for hire at 479.273.6996.
Artinfusion is sponsored by Blue Moon Brewing Co. Free for artinfusion members, $25 for guests. Admission includes one drink ticket. Details available here.

Tuesday, December 31, 8 pm to 1 am
New 365 | A New Year’s Celebration
Celebrate our planet’s endless cycle of renewal at the party of the year with Crystal Bridges. The revelry features music by Leah & the Mojo Doctors and DJ Havok, dancing, food and drink, old friends and new friends in a setting as bright and beautiful as our future! Get a new perspective on the next 365: new tastes and sounds, new sights, new experiences, and a whole new year.

Tickets: $85 ($75 for Members). Purchase tickets online or at Guest Services. Details available here.

Celebrate in style: combine your event tickets with a dinner and lodging package at 21c Museum Hotel, with complimentary transportation service between Crystal Bridges and the hotel from 8:15 p.m. to 1 a.m. To book your package, call Andy Yoon at 21c: 479-286-6515.