Diverse American Stories⁠—Told Through Marine Art Plus Surveys of Crafting and Diego Rivera⁠—Ahead at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

  • July 09, 2020 12:24

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Fitz Henry Lane, Ship Southern Cross in Boston Harbor, 1851. Oil on canvas, 34 1/4 x 47 x 4 1/2 inches (86.995 x 119.38 x 11.43 cm) framed. Peabody Essex Museum, Gift of the estate of Stephen Wheatland, 1987, M18639. Courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Mark Sexton
Ruth Asawa, Untitled (S.028, Hanging Four-Lobed Continuous Form within a Form), ca. 1958. Iron wire, 86 1/2 in. × 32 in. × 32 in. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. © Estate of Ruth Asawa.
Kathy Butterly, Super Bloom, 2019. Clay, glaze. 6 1/4 x 9 1/2 x 10 in. © Kathy Butterly 2019. Image courtesy the artist and James Cohan, New York. Photo by Alan Wiener.
Sabrina Gschwandtner Hands at Work Film , 2016. 16 mm polyester film, polyester thread, lithography ink 68 1/8 x 45 in. Photography by Joshua White Photography, jwpictures.com
Diego Rivera, The Flower Carrier, 1935; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Albert M. Bender Collection, gift of Albert M. Bender in memory of Caroline Walter; © Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: Katherine Du Tiel
William Trost Richards, Along the Shore , 1903. Oil on canvas, 39 3/16 × 78 1/2 in. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2009.1. Photography by Steven Watson.
Amy Sherald, Precious jewels by the sea, 2019. Oil on canvas, 120 x 108 x 2 ½ in. © Amy Sherald. Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Joseph Hyde
In "Ansel Adams: In Our Time," May 23 - September 7, 2020 at Crystal Bridges. "How the West is One," by Will Wilson (Diné (Navajo), born in 1969). Photograph, inkjet print. Courtesy of the artist. Copyright Will Wilson. Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
"Moon and Half Dome, Yosemite National Park," by Ansel Adams (American, 1902–1984) 1960. Photograph, gelatin silver print. 2018.2681. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The Lane Collection. © The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust. Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Marie Watt, Companion Species (Speech Bubble) , 2019. Reclaimed wool blankets, embroidery floss, and thread, 136 5/8 in. × 198 1/2 in. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art's 2021 temporary exhibition schedule includes the Crystal Bridges-organized exhibitions Crafting America and In American Waters, along with Diego Rivera’s America. The museum also has updated its 2020 schedule including Ansel Adams: In Our Time, and a focus exhibition, Companion Species. The museum, in Bentonville, Arkansas, is open to the public with new safety measures. Timed ticket reservations are available.

“We are excited to tell diverse, inclusive stories about American art through these ambitious exhibitions,” said Austen Barron Bailly, chief curator, Crystal Bridges. “The through line with these exhibitions is how artists explore the idea of America. Whether we’re marveling at the skill and individuality of craft through the work of Ruth Asawa, Jeffrey Gibson, and many other talented artists, looking at history through the eyes of renowned artists such as Diego Rivera, or questioning what it means to be ‘in American waters’ through paintings by William Trost Richards, Georgia O’Keeffe or Amy Sherald among many others, we are offering fresh perspectives and expanding ideas about American art.”

2021 Exhibition Lineup

Crafting America

February 6 through May 10, 2021

Crafting America, a new exhibition developed by Crystal Bridges, celebrates the skill and individuality of craft within the broad context of American art. From jewelry to furniture to sculptures and even a custom electric guitar designed for Prince, this exhibition is dazzling and full of surprises.

Featuring over 100 works in ceramics, fiber, wood, metal, glass, and more unexpected materials, Crafting America presents a diverse and inclusive story of American craft from the 1940s to today, highlighting the work of artists such as Ruth Asawa, Peter Voulkos, Jeffrey Gibson, Sonya Clark, and more. Craft has long been a realm accessible to the broadest range of individuals, providing an opportunity to explore personal creativity, innovation, and technical skill. This exhibition foregrounds varied backgrounds and perspectives in craft, from the vital contributions of Indigenous artists to the new skills and points of view brought by immigrants to the United States. 

Developed by Jen Padgett, associate curator at Crystal Bridges, and Glenn Adamson, guest curator and scholar of craft, design history, and contemporary art, Crafting America asserts craft’s integral role in expanding the story of American art. The exhibition is accompanied by a major multi-author illustrated publication published by Crystal Bridges and the University of Arkansas Press.

Diego Rivera’s America

June 19 through September 27, 2021

In his public murals and paintings, Diego Rivera painted human experience—families and workers, struggles and celebrations, histories and imagined futures. Between the early 1920s and the early 1940s, he worked in both Mexico and the United States and found inspiration in the social and cultural life of the two countries. He imagined an America—broadly understood—that shared an Indigenous past and an industrial future, and where cooperation, rather than divisions, were paramount.

Diego Rivera’s America, a new exhibition developed by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), examines this prolific time in the artist’s life through over 170 works, including his drawings, easel paintings, frescoes, and more. The first major exhibition focused solely on the Mexican artist in over 20 years, it reveals the broad range of Rivera’s work through a series of thematic sections that bring together more works from this time period than have been seen together since the artist’s lifetime.

The exhibition features iconic works such as Dance in Tehauantepec (1928), The Flowered Canoe (1931), Nude with Calla Lilies (1944) and other depictions of flower carriers and vendors, and three major paintings by Frida Kahlo, all done in San Francisco, including a self-portrait of her standing next to Rivera. The exhibition includes rarely seen works from private collections, major paintings on loan from museums in both the United States and Mexico, studies for pivotal mural projects in Mexico City, San Francisco, Detroit, and New York, as well as large-scale digital projections that convey the immersive quality of his epic murals.

In American Waters (working title)

November 6, 2021 through January 31, 2022

For over 200 years, artists have been inspired to capture the beauty, violence, poetry, and transformative power of the sea in American life. Oceans play a key role in American society no matter where we live, and still today, the sea continues to inspire painters to capture its mystery and power.

In American Waters is a new exhibition organized by Crystal Bridges and Peabody Essex Museum in which the marine painting is revealed to be so much more than ship portraits. Visitors will be transported across time and water on the wave of a diverse range of modern and historical artists including Georgia O’Keeffe, Amy Sherald, Kay WalkingStick, Norman Rockwell, Hale Woodruff, Paul Cadmus, Thomas Hart Benton, Winslow Homer, Jacob Lawrence, Valerie Hegarty, Stuart Davis, and many more. In this exhibition, visitors will also discover the sea as an expansive way to reflect on American culture and environment, learn how coastal and maritime symbols moved inland across the United States, and question what it means to be “in American waters.” 

In American Waters is co-created by Austen Bailly, chief curator, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and Daniel Finamore, The Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History, Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. The exhibition will debut at Peabody Essex Museum on May 29, 2021 and is accompanied by a major multi-author illustrated publication published by Crystal Bridges and the University of Arkansas Press.

New 2020 Exhibition Schedule

Ansel Adams: In Our Time will open at Crystal Bridges on Saturday, September 19. It will be on view through January 3, 2021.

In this exhibition, visitors will discover more than 100 of Adams’s most iconic works like never before, displayed alongside nineteenth-century photographers and 24 of his contemporary successors including Mark Klett, Trevor Paglen, Catherine Opie, Will Wilson, Abelardo Morell, Victoria Sambunaris, and Binh Danh, whose modern-day environmental concerns point directly to Adams’s legacy. 

Focus Exhibition: Companion Species

November 21, 2020 through May 31, 2021

Companion Species is a new focus exhibition and collaborative project that takes inspiration from the recent Crystal Bridges acquisition, Companion Species: Speech Bubble by Marie Watt (Seneca). In the spirit of Watt, who embraces community and connectedness at the heart of her artwork, the exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Museum of Native American History (MONAH) in Bentonville, and will be presented across the two museum sites.

In the spirit of interconnections and cross-cultural exchange, artwork by Native and non-Native artists from across time and media will be shown in dialogue with Watt’s Companion Species. Art by Louise Bourgeois, Kristen Cliffel, Laurel Roth Hope, Joseph Stella, William Holbrook Beard, and recent acquisitions by artists Harry Fonseca, Ma Pe Wi, Woody Crumbo, and new acquisitions from the Bruce Hartman collection will be featured with artworks from MONAH. Artworks will also be featured at MONAH in conversation with their collection. Together, the art tells stories and celebrates the web of relationships between humans, animals, and nature. After its run at Crystal Bridges, this focus exhibition will travel to other museums with support from Art Bridges.

2021 exhibitions and visual arts projects at the Momentary, Crystal Bridges's new satellite contemporary art space, will be announced at a later date. Get a glimpse at the Momentary’s 2020 visual arts schedule here.

For a complete list of current exhibitions, visit here.

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