Hailed as the nation's most important new art museum in a generation and filled with one of the world's best collections of American art, Crystal Bridges will officially open to the public on 11-11-11, but a members-only preview began Wednesday.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art "is regarded as the nation's most important new art museum in a generation, offering the type of exhibits more commonly found in New York or Los Angeles." NPR notes that Crystal Bridges is home to what "some critics are calling one of the world's best collections of American art" and calls the museum's opening "The American art world's biggest event in decades."
Original members of Crystal Bridges have, however, been treated to a Members Preview which began Wednesday morning and continues for 24-hours. I scheduled a late evening preview tour and my timed ticket was for 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday. I did not leave the museum until after 2:00 a.m. Thursday morning. During that time I had the extraordinary pleasure of viewing masterworks by American artists including Gilbert Stuart, Asher B. Durand, Thomas Moran, Martin Johnson Heade, John Singer Sargent, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, Norman Rockwell, Georgia O'Keeffe, Andy Warhol and hundreds of others. Below is a sample of what can be seen at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
Gallery at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Bentonville, Ark.
In addition to a vast collection of paintings, Crystal Bridges also features numerous sculptures, drawings, contemporary mixed-media works, a library, restaurant, and lovely landscaped trails on the museum's 120-acre site.
Crystal Bridges is scheduled to officially open on Nov. 11. However, free, timed tickets for Opening Day are completely booked. There will be a free, non-ticketed Opening Day celebration on the Bentonville Town Square beginning at 11:00 a.m. on 11-11-11. To reserve a free admission ticket for future dates, please visit this website.