Mith242

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

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I just hope Crystal Bridges doesn't become another Thomas Kinkade gallery full of what they call chocolate box art.

It won't be. That would be awful! Thomas Kinkade--it's doesn't get any worse than that! Funny one!

We have some serious art people doing the buying. Alice Walton knows a lot about art--she is definitely not Kinkade-esque in her tastes!

M

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It won't be. That would be awful! Thomas Kinkade--it's doesn't get any worse than that! Funny one!

We have some serious art people doing the buying. Alice Walton knows a lot about art--she is definitely not Kinkade-esque in her tastes!

M

Kinkade is pretty (sometimes beautiful) Christmas card type art (thanks to it's commonality now)... but I agree that the commonality and generic status it has obtained make it inappropriate for a serious art gallery.

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Final design model unveiled, with a few changes:

http://www.nwaonline.net/articles/2008/04/...08bzcrystal.txt

Yeah I read about that in the paper today. Your link has a pic but it's not the same one I saw in the paper. I can't wait till it's built. Not just to see all the artwork but to see the actual buildings themselves. Sounds like there will be some copper in the roofs that will oxidize to the greenish color you see in some older buildings. Apparently they're also using some sort of light brown Brazilian hardwood in the structures as well. I'm guessing the new model is being displayed at the Massey in downtown Bentonville. The new model is larger than the previous one they showed in pictures and has some of the updated alterations.

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Just a little info I came across today. Apparently Alice Walton, the rest of the Walton family and one of the Walton Foundations have donated $317 Mil. I don't believe this was a recent event but just classifying what donations have taken place since Crystal Bridges inception. Also sounds like Crystal Bridges has $500 Mil in assets. The Stieglitz Collection is still up in the air. Guess there's not really any big rush since the museum won't be open for a while longer. Really curious what else has been added to the collection. Museum officials have been to art auctions the past year but so far have been quiet about what if anything has been purchased. Sounds like they plan to keep most other purchases quiet till the museum opens. Not sure if it's to help drive up interest and curiosity or if it's because of some of the negative attention some have shown to pieces of artwork heading to (gasp) the Ozarks.

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Apparently Alice Walton, the rest of the Walton family and one of the Walton Foundations have donated $317 Mil.

:shok:

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I read an article talking about some more artwork. I didn't quite get if this was a new purchase or if they were just talking about it because it was being loaned out to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Here's some info on the painting.

George de Forest Brush

The Indian and the Lily

1887

Oil on canvas

21 x 20 in. (53.3 x 50.8 cm)

BrushTheIndianandtheLily_large.jpg

It's been a while since I've done this but I might try to repost pics and info on some of the collection that's been gathered so far.

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Since it's been pretty slow lately on the develop news I thought I'd finally catch up on some info on Crystal Bridges. There's been some more acquisitions in the past month or so. They seem to be making a move to add some more modern artwork.

Paul Manship

Group of Bears

modeled 1932, cast ca. 1999

Manship_GroupOfBears_Large.jpg

Bumpei Usui

Still Life: Kuniyoshi's Studio

1930

Usui_StillLifeKuniyoshisStudio_Large.jpg

Lyonel Feininger

Schlossgasse

1915

FeiningerSchlossgasse_Large.jpg

Yasuo Kuniyoshi

Little Joe with Cow

1923

Kuniyoshi_LittleJoeWithCow_Large.jpg

Stuart Davis

Still Life with Flowers

1930

Davis_StillLifeWithFlowers_Large.jpg

Romare Bearden

Sacrifice

1941

Bearden_Sacrifice_Large.jpg

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:shok:

This is going to be one amazing place...just top notch all the way. What an impressive facility for ANY city, and especially Bentonville. I don't think anyone could have wagered or even fathomed this type of achievement even 10 years ago.

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This is going to be one amazing place...just top notch all the way. What an impressive facility for ANY city, and especially Bentonville. I don't think anyone could have wagered or even fathomed this type of achievement even 10 years ago.

Yeah I'm just trying to imagine what it will be like on my first visit.

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A couple more additions have been added in the past couple of weeks.

John Singer Sargent

Portrait of Carolus Duran

1879

Sargent_Portrait_Of_Carolus_Duran_large.jpg

Thomas Hart Benton

Ploughing It Under

1934

Benton_Ploughing_It_Under_Large.jpg

I was very happy to see a work by Thomas Hart Benton. For those of you who might not know he was a native of Neosho and much of his work was done during the Great Depression. Probably the best known painter of the Ozarks. Benton County is actually named for one of his relatives as well.

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Fisk University is till trying to fight the decision by a Tennessee court to share the Stieglitz collection with Crystal Bridges. At this point I'm not sure if it might ever come about. It would be great for Crystal Bridges and bring in needed revenue to Fisk University.

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Unfortunately it sounds like the opening for Crystal Bridges has been pushed back. It was originally suppose to open next year. But now a 2011 date is being talked about. I guess we shouldn't be too surprised. Seems like a lot of these 'big' projects like this tend to run behind quite a bit. But I was really looking forward to next year to see it.

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I've been waiting for the museum to announce this or make a move. But with an art museum specializing in American art it's hard to imagine it without any Norman Rockwell art. But apparently the museum has picked up Norman Rockwell's Roxie the Riveter. It hasn't been put on their website yet so I don't have a pic of it to show it off. I really wish the museum was going to be opening soon. But even the 2010 date has been taken off the website.

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Crystal Bridges keeps adding to it's collection of artwork. Now it's a price previously thought lost. Ironically it was owned by Bernice Jones in Springdale. She apparently bought the painting in 1960 for $500. But no one realized it was an 1862 oil painting from the notable Thomas Moran. Moran became a well known painter after he painted scenes out west on a government exposition to Yellowstone. His paintings help persuade Congress to preserve the land that would eventually become America's first National Park. Great to see some of his artwork here in the area.

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Crystal Bridges updated their website so thought I'd show the two paintings I've mentioned recently.

cb1943normanrockwellros.jpg

cb1865thomasmoranautumn.jpg

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I went and walked the trail - a beautiful walk through the woods with a big payoff at the end. The overlook at the construction site gives a great view of the work. It is larger than I realized and that is without a lot of it even being started yet. They've concentrated on the main section of the building and left the outer parts for later. It's easy to see why they are behind the original schedule - it has to be an extremely difficult job. It will be an amazing place when finished.

It was the first time I had been to Compton Gardens also- that is a very nice area and informative. I like the identifying signs for the plants.

DSCN1976.jpg

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I went and walked the trail - a beautiful walk through the woods with a big payoff at the end. The overlook at the construction site gives a great view of the work. It is larger than I realized and that is without a lot of it even being started yet. They've concentrated on the main section of the building and left the outer parts for later. It's easy to see why they are behind the original schedule - it has to be an extremely difficult job. It will be an amazing place when finished.

It was the first time I had been to Compton Gardens also- that is a very nice area and informative. I like the identifying signs for the plants.

DSCN1976.jpg

Cool thanks for the pic and info. I had thought about heading up there this weekend myself but never made it up there. Maybe on a slightly cooler weekend I'll decide to get out. :D

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A couple more paintings have been announced as being added to the Crystal Bridges collection. Three paintings from the Crystal Bridges collection are part of a exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. One of the paintings had already been announced as part of the Crystal Bridges collection. Of the two newly mentioned, one is a somewhat well known 1848 painting. Richard Caton Woodville's War News from Mexico. The other is John Haberle's 1887 work, Small Change. Once Crystal Bridges adds these to the collection on their website I'll post some pics of the two new additions.

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The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette had an interesting article about the financial details of this project. I read through this topic and it hasn't been mentioned- it seems Crystal Bridges was granted a special exemption by the state legislature from sales and use taxes that is costing any government entity that depends on those taxes a sorely needed source of revenue. The state legislature approved the measure in 2005 when the state had a surplus, local governments weren't cutting back and the project was estimated to cost much, much less than it is now. Because Act 1865 (sponsored by a Bentonville state representative, of course) didn't require Crystal Bridges to report how much it has spent there is now no way to know exactly how much tax revenue the state and local governments have lost because of the exemption.

Crystal Bridges is evidently being tight-lipped about how much has been spent on the construction and art collection but required federal reports show that as of 2008 it had spent $66 million on construction and $257 million on art. Considering the museum was supposed to open in 2009 and construction is not remotely close to being completed in 2010 it is safe to say that the construction budget is many times more than $66 million. There have been several announcements of art purchases that could have ran into the $100 million range but without disclosure by Crystal Bridges the true amount will never be known. Going by the outdated 2008 figures the state and local governments could have lost an estimated $17 million in tax revenue- if the true amount spent were known it would obviously be much more.

The rationale given by Crystal Bridges and supporting government officals is that once it is open that the museum will draw tourism dollars and national recognition that will compensate for the tax exemption. While this is to an extent probable there is no way to know at what cost those benefits will come or when they will come. The money being donated for this museum has came from the success of a corporation that already has cost state and local governments through the aid programs that it's employees use. While no one denies the importance of Wal Mart's presence to the area, it seems arrogant for the individuals to say they want a open-ended tax subsidy and they refuse to disclose how much that it is costing the average taxpayer.

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The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette had an interesting article about the financial details of this project. I read through this topic and it hasn't been mentioned- it seems Crystal Bridges was granted a special exemption by the state legislature from sales and use taxes that is costing any government entity that depends on those taxes a sorely needed source of revenue. The state legislature approved the measure in 2005 when the state had a surplus, local governments weren't cutting back and the project was estimated to cost much, much less than it is now. Because Act 1865 (sponsored by a Bentonville state representative, of course) didn't require Crystal Bridges to report how much it has spent there is now no way to know exactly how much tax revenue the state and local governments have lost because of the exemption.

Crystal Bridges is evidently being tight-lipped about how much has been spent on the construction and art collection but required federal reports show that as of 2008 it had spent $66 million on construction and $257 million on art. Considering the museum was supposed to open in 2009 and construction is not remotely close to being completed in 2010 it is safe to say that the construction budget is many times more than $66 million. There have been several announcements of art purchases that could have ran into the $100 million range but without disclosure by Crystal Bridges the true amount will never be known. Going by the outdated 2008 figures the state and local governments could have lost an estimated $17 million in tax revenue- if the true amount spent were known it would obviously be much more.

The rationale given by Crystal Bridges and supporting government officals is that once it is open that the museum will draw tourism dollars and national recognition that will compensate for the tax exemption. While this is to an extent probable there is no way to know at what cost those benefits will come or when they will come. The money being donated for this museum has came from the success of a corporation that already has cost state and local governments through the aid programs that it's employees use. While no one denies the importance of Wal Mart's presence to the area, it seems arrogant for the individuals to say they want a open-ended tax subsidy and they refuse to disclose how much that it is costing the average taxpayer.

I'm okay with this. It is very rare for a private individual/group to pour this kind of money into an art museum that will have a massive cultural and (hopefully) economic impact on the area. Considering Bentonville/NWA isn't the one shelling out hundreds of millions on the museum itself and the art and we will reap the boost to tourism, reputation, and cultural activities, $10, 20, or even $50 million in lost tax revenue in the short term is still a huge bargain. Other areas our size would kill for that kind of deal.

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Yeah I'd have to say I'm okay with it also. I do think the facility itself will help draw enough tourism that it will make up the difference. I think state officials overall agree as well. I think the only thing they might have done differently is set it up so that it would be after the fact so a set dollar amount could be set. The current situation is what other states have set up as well. Had Arkansas not granted the exemption who's to say they might not have just built it in southwest Missouri instead. Or for that matter not at all.

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Yeah I'd have to say I'm okay with it also. I do think the facility itself will help draw enough tourism that it will make up the difference. I think state officials overall agree as well. I think the only thing they might have done differently is set it up so that it would be after the fact so a set dollar amount could be set. The current situation is what other states have set up as well. Had Arkansas not granted the exemption who's to say they might not have just built it in southwest Missouri instead. Or for that matter not at all.

I'm not so sure about increasing tourism, it's not like this area is a big tourist magnet. How much can one museum do? Is it supposed to be of the scale and quality of a major metro museum, the sort of museum with real drawing power? Maybe just regional drawing power? That said I'm certainly glad it's being built, let's not look a gift horse in the mouth...and I'll certainly visit soon after it's opened.

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I'm not so sure about increasing tourism, it's not like this area is a big tourist magnet. How much can one museum do? Is it supposed to be of the scale and quality of a major metro museum, the sort of museum with real drawing power? Maybe just regional drawing power? That said I'm certainly glad it's being built, let's not look a gift horse in the mouth...and I'll certainly visit soon after it's opened.

I guess that's one of those things we'll just have to see. I do agree it should at least be a regional draw. We might need more in the area to help draw people from further away. Although I can see the combination of Crystal Bridges and the architecture of E Fay Jones in the area being a draw to some outside the region. There's the Clinton House and other things like Pea Ridge. Some people call it the best preserved Civil War battle site. You won't regularly draw lots of people outside the region. But I think there's enough that will appeal to some to bring them from further way. It's just going to depend on what appeals to some people.

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