Monday, July 21, 2014

Crystal Bridges and a Lonely Pod

Crystal Bridges Museum, Bentonville, Arkansas.
In the rain, as seen from inside the museum.

In April we took a road trip to Bentonville, Arkansas, just to see the Crystal Bridges Museum. We were prepared to be underwhelmed by the whole experience -- Arkansas??? Wal-Mart town??? A little museum in Arkansas???

Instead, we were totally impressed. We drove the first day to Tulsa where we found out that their rush hour traffic lasts for about 25 minutes, as opposed to Austin's rush hour traffic that lasts for about 3 hours. Seth, the friendly clerk at the hotel checking us in, asked where we were from and when we said Austin he said "Why would anyone want to leave Austin?" Sure enough, Seth is an aspiring musician. We warned him Austin is expensive but he's young so he'll probably come here anyway. If you are Country-Western you go to Nashville, everyone else aims for Austin.

The next morning we headed for Bentonville with a stop on the way to apply for the TSA pre-check program. We were lucky enough to be randomly selected for this the last time we flew and it was great - shoes on, no baggage checking. Probably now that we have it ($85 for 3 years), we'll get unlucky and be randomly selected to go through the regular lines! It involved documents providing who we were, citizenship, residence, etc., answering questions (not many) and photo and fingerprinting. Everything went smoothly except for the fact that fingerprinting Susan was not an easy task - the grooves on her fingers have worn down! She surmises that it is from years of quilting and handling fabrics and years of messing with paints and repeatedly scrubbing at her hands with rough sponges. That, and the fact that she really wants to be in the Witness Protection Program so Time-Warner will quit calling her and asking her to upgrade her TV connection.

We were skirting bad weather the whole trip and it finally caught up with us as we got into Bentonville. Regardless, the town is lovely -- really neat and clean. We almost felt like we were in the movie Truman. Everyone is pleasant and friendly, and did I tell you everything is clean? I guess when you are the Wal-Mart headquarters you want to look good and you support the town with your tax base and there was NO trash anywhere at the public park we went to.  Added feature? That area of Arkansas is really pretty.

Yes, there was a lot of rain once we got into the muesum. This is a shot looking at the section of the museum that has the restaurant where I stuffed myself on Chicken and Waffles. It spans over the river which was very full due to the thunderstorm that came through while we were in there.

Maybe it's not a river but a creek? Whatever, this is looking downstream at some of the outdoor sculptures. Because of the rain we didn't do the hiking paths around it, we'll do that next time.

The galleries are spacious with benches in each area so you can sit and look at the art or just rest your feet. Why do so few museums have places where you can sit? Is it like having a noisy restaurant - they think you'll find it uncomfortable and hurry out so they can bring more people in?

One of Susan's favorites - Giocometti's Annette.

And of course I have to admire Odalisque by Matisse.

One lonely pod.


genie holt said...

Nice post. I visited Crystal Bridges last month and was very impressed too. Beautiful setting and beautiful museum. Had last been to Bentonville about 30 years ago. Just think if more of our small towns in America grew and prospered like that one.
Incredible power in one man's vision.

Seth said...

This looks like a very interesting place. Isn't exciting when expectations are exceeded!!

layers said...

Thanks for the lovely travel tour and fun commentary and I love your pods - lonely or not.