“Enchanted Forest,” ca. 1950, Pop Chalee (Merina Lujan) (1906-1993) Taos Pueblo, Gouacheon paper, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art just reopened with new policies intended to promote social distancing and limit attendance during the continued COVID-19 outbreak. And as of yesterday (July 9), we now know what to expect to see on the walls in the coming weeks (and years).
The museum in Bentonville has announced a series of new temporary exhibits that begin later this year and an amended schedule for many of the temporary exhibits announced this time last year.
The first such exhibit is “Ansel Adams: In Our Time,” which was originally scheduled to debut in May, when the museum was still closed. Instead, it will open on Sept. 19 and run through early 2021. The exhibit takes more than 100 images by Adams and displays them alongside artists inspired by the celebrated photographer.
Next up will be the focused exhibit “Companion Species.” It takes its name from Marie Watt’s “Companion Species: Speech Bubble,” which was just added the museum’s permanent collection. The focused exhibit will be created in partnership with the Museum of Native American History (MONAH), also in Bentonville, and the exhibit will be shown across the two locations. The exhibit will showcase works from MONAH’s permanent collection and also draw heavily from a series of Native American artworks recently acquired by Crystal Bridges.
Photo by Bill Apton
“Crafting America,” the next temporary exhibit, was announced last year under the working title “Craft.” It now debuts Feb. 6, 2021. “Crafting America” focuses on the legacy of American artists and spans a multitude of mediums: ceramics, fiber, wood, metal, glass and more. There’s also a custom electric guitar created for the musician Prince. Developed by Crystal Bridges associate curator Jen Padgett and guest curator Glenn Adamson, the exhibit promises to assert “craft’s integral role in expanding the story of American art,” according to the press release announcing the exhibit details.
Newly announced for next year is a collection of works by Diego Rivera. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has collected more than 170 works from the artist – and a few from notable artist (and his one-time wife) Frida Kahlo – for the exhibit “Diego Rivera’s America.” This “America” is to be loosely defined, as Rivera was born and became a historical figure in Mexico but also spent many prolific years in the United States, notably in San Francisco where three of his murals can still be viewed. “Diego Rivera’s America” includes easel paintings, drawings, frescoes and digital projections that showcase the scale of the mural work for which he is best known.
Also newly announced is a collection currently called “In American Waters,” scheduled to open locally in November 2021. The exhibit is co-organized by Crystal Bridges and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, where the exhibit will debut in May. Using the theme of water as a point of connection, the exhibit will contain works by American masters such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Thomas Hart Benton, Norman Rockwell and more.
Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth / Photo: Joseph Hyde
Traveling exhibits often require a fee for viewing while admission to the permanent collection areas of the museum is always free. Details on potential ticket prices and admission schedules were not released with the announcement.
In the meantime, two temporary exhibits are on view at Crystal Bridges, but only for a short time. “Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal” wraps up July 13 at Crystal Bridges. The other exhibit, “State of the Art 2020,” will undergo a phased deinstallation beginning July 12.
For the half of the exhibition on view at Crystal Bridges sister location The Momentary, “State of the Art 2020” will be on view through July 12 with artworks in the Lobby Gallery on view through August 16. For the half of the exhibition on view at Crystal Bridges, it will be on view through July 27, with some artworks remaining throughout the museum through November 2.
“The Tetons and Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming” – Ansel Adams 1942, gelatin silver print / Courtesy: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Lane Collection
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Late 2020-Early 2022 Exhibition Schedule
In addition to announcing date changes for previously scheduled art exhibits, Crystal Bridges has announced its next slate of temporary exhibitions. The updated/new schedule is as follows:
– “Ansel Adams: In Our Time” (rescheduled) – Sept. 19, 2020 through Jan. 3, 2021
– Focus Exhibition: “Companion Species” (newly announced) – Nov. 21, 2020 through May 31, 2021
– “Crafting America” (rescheduled) – Feb. 6 through May 10, 2021
– “Diego Rivera’s America” (newly announced) – June 19 through Sept. 27, 2021
– “In American Waters” (a working title; newly announced) – Nov. 6, 2021 through Jan. 31, 2022
In addition to the changes above, one traveling exhibit scheduled for 2020 will not make the journey to Arkansas. “Beyond Midnight: Paul Revere,” was to debut locally on July 4. Instead, the exhibit is scheduled to stay near Boston through mid-October at the Concord Museum, which like many museums temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.