May 17, 2012 In collaboration with the International Council of Museums and the Association of Art Museum Directors, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces its participation in Art Museum Day on Friday, May 18. Over 120 art museums across North America will offer free or reduced admission, special programs, and other initiatives as part of their celebrations of Art Museum Day. These museums are all members of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD). Building on public response to past Art Museum Days, this year AAMD is encouraging visitors to share their experiences during Art Museum Day on a special printed form available at participating museums. The form, “I Love My Art Museum,” provides space in which guests may draw or write a response. Forms are available in Crystal Bridges Reflection Rooms, located between galleries. Guests may leave their completed forms at the museum, and these may be displayed on the museum’s Facebook or web pages. Selected forms may also be published in upcoming issues of C, the museum’s membership magazine. Guests are also encouraged to share experiences with a national audience via Twitter with the hashtag #ArtMuseumDay, upload images to Flickr with the Art Museum Day tag, or check into the national Art Museum Day event on Foursquare. Crystal Bridges’ guests may upload photos of their museum experience to the Crystal Bridges’ Facebook page. “Art museums create opportunities for the public to engage directly with works of art in new and meaningful ways—from transformative educational initiatives to innovative public partnerships.” said Chris Anagnos, Executive Director of AAMD. “AAMD believes that art should be accessible and relevant to all, and we are pleased to bring together over 120 art museums to celebrate the power of art and to encourage visitors to share their museum experiences.” AAMD’s Art Museum Day coincides with International Museum Day, organized annually around the world by the International Council of Museums (ICOM). Participation by AAMD member museums emphasizes the lasting impact art museums have on their communities, highlights the value of the visual arts in society, and provides new opportunities for audiences to participate in wide-ranging programs and share their encounters with works of art. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will be open on Art Museum Day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. General admission to Crystal Bridges is sponsored by Walmart. There is never a fee to view the museum’s permanent collection. There is a $5 per person fee to view the current temporary exhibition, “The Hudson River School: Nature and the American Vision,” organized by the New-York Historical Society, and Sponsored at Crystal Bridges by U.S. Trust; Christie’s; Harrison and Rhonda French Family; and Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C. The exhibition is free to museum members and guests under age 18. Reserved, timed tickets are required to view this exhibition. # # # 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 landscape. We explore the unfolding story of America by actively collecting, exhibiting, interpreting, and preserving outstanding works that illuminate our heritage and artistic possibilities. Opened to the public on 11-11-11, Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 by Alice Walton, who chairs the Museum’s board of directors.