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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Crystal Bridges: Art and Nature in Harmony

Daytime Program on Zoom

Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET
Code: 1NV050
$25 - Member
$30 - Non-Member

Fly’s Eye Dome by Buckminster Fuller on the north lawn (Crystal Bridges Museum)


Surrounded by 120 acres of native Ozark forest, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, celebrates the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 as a non-profit charitable organization by arts patron Alice Walton, and since opening to the public in 2011, the museum has welcomed more than 5 million visitors. Join a member of the curatorial staff for a look at this unique setting for art and architecture.

Architect Moshe Safdie envisioned a building that would complement the surrounding landscape. Nestled into a natural ravine, the museum integrates the element of water on the site through two spring-fed ponds that are spanned by two signature bridge structures and surrounded by a group of pavilions housing museum galleries and studios. A Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian house was preserved, acquired, and moved to the museum grounds in 2015, and a rare Fly’s Eye Dome by Buckminster Fuller was installed in 2017, showcasing two American architectural masterworks in a natural setting that also includes five miles of sculpture and walking trails.

Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection spans five centuries of American artworks from Early American to the present, with an emphasis on artists underrepresented in art history and conventional museum settings. Works such as Asher B. Durand’s Kindred Spirits, Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of George Washington, and Georgia O’Keeffe’s Jimson Weed are displayed alongside pieces by contemporary artists including Kerry James Marshall, Maya Lin, Fritz Scholder, Jaune Quick-To-See-Smith, Felix Gonzales-Torres, and Amy Sherald.

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*


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*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.

This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.