Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Crystal Bridges visit

 Painting by William Trost Richards 1863-1864
Early Spring outside  
 Is this a still life? Martin Johnson Heade 1875-1890
 Thomas Hart Benton
 Ruth Asawa 1965-1970
 Evan Penny 2010
 Theodore Roszak 1936
   Our trip to Crystal Bridges was spearheaded by Margaret who planned our meetings in stages, moving from Kirbyville to 65/86 to 86/13 connections where I joined and drove to Bentonville. I knew Amy from the art guild days, I subbed occasionally at the Hollister elementary school where Cindy taught art for years. Margaret and I go back a long ways. The dynamics were interesting and Cindy talked quite a bit about her plans since retiring and being a weaver at a craft shop in Branson where Amy is also giving it a shot (selling her watercolors)
  We arrived at the museum and had to park in the far lot (even an hour after it opened). The museum building is confusing. The first thing you do is walk in and go down an elevator then walk out of that building to an outdoor courtyard, then back inside to a main lobby.
  The special exhibit was Norman Rockwell and was very well attended. You were handed an Ipod and earphones and could punch in a number next to the picture and get some background information. I didn't feel it gave much insight into the work, however, and stopped listening. I wasn't very engaged in the work, with a few exceptions, had seen all of it before ad nauseum, so I left. With 3 tour busses and the chatting among everyone talking over the ipods, the noise level was insane in that exhibit. No one even tried to whisper. I walked outside for some quiet.
  As I started looking at the museum collection, I was struck continuously by how loud the rooms were. The buildings (pods) just echo all sound and anyone having the normal conversation just is too loud. Almost every room had attendants that jumped you  (do you need help?) or were talking themselves. Tour guides giving talks- it was all just SO LOUD. The only place that it was quiet was outside and even there, sound carried from the bike trail above the museum.
    I missed some southern art, outsider art, Red Grooms and  Howard Finster. I missed some snarky humor. Social commentary, Anti anything.   Lord knows I'm not an expert, but when the same artists are in Kansas City (that I didn't know before) are also here, I'm thinking that the buyers are connected.
  I really am ambivalent about this museum and I think it would have to be something quite special to get me there again.