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Crystal Bridges Exhibition Reveals Alice Walton's Love of American Watercolors

7 January 2014 - by ArtfixDaily Staff
Georgia O'Keeffe, Evening Star II, 1917, Watercolor on paper.
Georgia O'Keeffe, Evening Star II, 1917, Watercolor on paper.
(Photography by Dwight Primiano. Courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas.)

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, in Bentonville, Ark., will offer a diverse group of temporary exhibitions for 2014. Opening on January 18 are two exhibitions. One is centered on Edward Hopper’s Blackwell’s Island, a recently acquired work. (It sold at Christie's in May 2013 for $19.1 million.) Also, on view will be At First Sight: Collecting the American Watercolor which runs through April 21 and will reveal the museum founder's early influences.

Every art collector has a first love. For Crystal Bridges’ founder and board chairwoman Alice Walton, it was watercolor painting that initially drew her attention. At First Sight offers a glimpse into how her early interest in watercolor grew into a lifelong love of art.

Making watercolor paintings has brought Walton great joy over the years, and it also contributed to her deep appreciation for the work of professional artists. Her initial interest in collecting watercolors grew into a fascination with American art, which soon inspired her to collect works by American artists in many media.  At First Sight: Collecting the American Watercolor offers the rare opportunity to view some of the paintings that sparked Walton’s earliest collecting interests, including works by Thomas Hart Benton, John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth, and Georgia O’Keeffe. 

Other highlights for 2014 include a traveling exhibition of American and European masters of Modernism and a ground-breaking exhibition of contemporary American art.