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See the Light: Crystal Bridges Fall Exhibitions to Include Light, Architecture

Two temporary exhibitions will open concurrently at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art on Saturday, Oct. 13, both focusing on light as a source of inspiration for works of art and architecture. See the Light: The Luminist Tradition in American Art traces the importance of light for American artists from the nineteenth century through today. This exhibition will also premiere a major new acquisition to Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection. Moshe Safdie: The Path to Crystal Bridges showcases the masterful use of light in architectural design by Crystal Bridges architect Moshe Safdie. There is no fee to view See the Light and Moshe Safdie: The Path to Crystal Bridges, and no advance tickets are required.

See the Light: The Luminist Tradition in American Art
October 13, 2012 through January 28, 2013

From the luminous paintings of Martin Johnson Heade in the nineteenth century to Dan Flavin’s minimalist sculpture featuring fluorescent tubes in the twentieth, light has inspired American artists for more than 100 years.  See the Light: The Luminist Tradition in American Art will feature selected works from Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection combined with works on loan from other institutions. The exhibition will trace the fascinating evolution of artists’ use of light through the work of key American masters.

The works selected for See the Light showcase how light is often deployed by American artists as a metaphor for transcendent experience through a long history of changing styles and media. Works in the exhibition range from the Impressionist paintings of John Singer Sargent in the late nineteenth century, to works created within the last 20 years by artists such as James Turrell and Jim Campbell using state-of-the-art electronic technologies.

One of the highlights of See the Light will be the unveiling of a breathtaking new acquisition to Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection. This work of art by a major mid-century American artist was acquired through a private sale, and has not been exhibited for more than four decades. The acquisition will debut to Crystal Bridges Members at a Members-only Preview prior to the public opening.

Moshe Safdie: The Path to Crystal Bridges
October 13, 2012 through January 28, 2013

The use of light as a powerful design element is key to the signature style of Moshe Safdie, the world-renowned architect of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Walls of glass, skylights, exterior views, and manipulation of natural light to create space and mood are elements that can be traced throughout Safide’s career. His design for Crystal Bridges is completely unique, and yet references elements from several of his major national and international projects.  Moshe Safdie: The Path to Crystal Bridges charts the design development of four key projects—Habitat 67 in Montreal, The Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, The National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, and the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles—which helped to inform the design for Crystal Bridges. Through models, architectural drawings, photographs and video, this exhibition illuminates Safdie’s path to Crystal Bridges by highlighting his aesthetic language of transcendent light, powerful geometric form, and metaphoric imagery. Members will be invited to a Members-only Preview prior to the public opening.

Coming soon: American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell
March 9 through May 28, 2013

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 and will go on sale beginning in November, although there will be no charge for youth or Crystal Bridges Members. Members will be invited to a Members-only Preview prior to the public opening.

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 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. The Museum takes its name from a nearby natural spring and the bridge construction incorporated in the building design by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. A series of pavilions nestled around two spring-fed ponds house galleries, meeting and classroom spaces, and a large, glass-enclosed gathering hall. Guest amenities include a restaurant on a glass-enclosed bridge overlooking the ponds and a Museum Store by architect Marlon Blackwell. Sculpture and walking trails link the Museum’s 120-acre park to downtown Bentonville, Arkansas.

Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection spans five centuries of American masterworks ranging from the Colonial era to the current day. Included within the collection are iconic images such as Asher B. Durand’s Kindred Spirits, Rosie the Riveter by Norman Rockwell, and Andy Warhol’s Dolly Parton, each reflecting a distinct moment in American artistic evolution. In addition to historical works, the Museum’s collection also showcases major works by modern and contemporary American artists, including Roy Lichtenstein, James Turrell, and Georgia O’Keeffe, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to experience the full scope of American art.

Crystal Bridges will continue to grow its collection through the efforts of its professional staff as well as through important gifts from private collectors. The permanent collection, which is on view year-round, is further enhanced by an array of ongoing temporary exhibitions.

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