Whether you are looking for amazing sculptures and the latest visiting art exhibits or simply want a beautiful place to walk and enjoy nature, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is the place to go in Northwest Arkansas. On a recent work trip to the Bentonville area, we took some time to explore the Chihuly exhibit and walk the trails. And of course, you don’t want to miss the Bachman-Wilson House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright!
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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Northwest Arkansas is Crystal Bridges American Art Museum and it doesn’t take very long once you arrive to understand why. Come for the Chihuly exhibits, but then take time to explore the trails.
When you first arrive, you are greeted by a mammoth spider sculpture. It’s hard to get a feel for how large this sculpture is until you stand under the legs and look up.
The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. Crystal Bridges takes its name from a nearby natural spring and the bridge construction incorporated in the building, designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. Sculpture and walking trails link the Museum’s 120-acre park to downtown Bentonville, Arkansas.
When you take the nature trails, you are treated to many sculptures around every bend. Make sure you take your time and enjoy fun photo opps and views.
We started out exploring as a group and took some fun pictures of course! After all, you can’t walk past a picture frame in the beautiful woods without hopping in the picture, right?
There are multiple trails to explore at Crystal Bridges. On this trip we took the Art Trail which features several outdoor sculptures, an amphitheater. The Art Trail also connects the Museum’s south entrance to the Crystal Bridges Trail.
Sometimes you don’t know what you’re missing until you experience something new. As much as I love color and light, I didn’t know anything about Chihuly and now I have discovered a new favorite!
Dale Chihuly is an American glass sculptor and entrepreneur. His works are considered unique to the field of blown glass, “moving it into the realm of large-scale sculpture.”
The inside exhibits are full of amazing glass bowls, cylinders and dancing glass works in every possible color. You could spend hours just studying and appreciating the exquisite pieces that are on display.
Once you finish the indoor exhibits, you can take the path through the forest where you are treated to more Chihuly exhibits surrounded by beautiful flowers and trees. The way Chihuly uses the glass and color makes you dream of popsicles, dancing flames or floating balloons.
What I love about the outdoor exhibits is how they just feed your imagination. This one reminded me of a Dr Seuss character, or maybe a bad hair day, or maybe a dandelion. What do you think of when you see this?
Chihuly has been an innovator for more than 40 years, working in many media including glass, paint, and neon, and always pushing their boundaries to carry out his distinctive vision. He changed the way we think about glass, stretching the medium to new realms of possibility.
What exhibits are coming next? Click here for information on future exhibits.
The fun thing about experiencing the Chihuly Exhibits last month is that now I can easily recognize other Chihuly works in other art museums. When we visited the Cincinnati Art Museum in Ohio, there was a Chihuly exhibit hanging in the atrium above the information desk!
Don’t miss the Bachman-Wilson House when you visit Crystal Bridges! Read all about that Bachman-Wilson House here.
Connect with Cyrstal Bridges
600 Museum Way
Bentonville AR, 72712
Have you been to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art? What is your favorite exhibit or time of year? I’d love to hear!
Looking for more things to do in Northwest Arkansas? Why not check out the free Walmart Museum in downtown Bentonville?!