My friend Janice and I decided we’d make a day of road trip fun by heading to Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, AR. Then we’d drive to Eureka Springs for dinner, heading back to Springfield, MO late in the day.
I recommend this as a road trip to anyone in the Springfield area, mostly because it’s a great “round trip” and you get more out of your day making a circle with two stops than the usual trip there and back.
We had some adventures at CB. We had never done all of the trails, so after a picnic lunch on Walker Landing in front of the museum, we decided to do part of the Crystal Bridges trail and then return to see the Andy Warhol/Jamie Wyeth exhibit.
Unfortunately, CB needs to update its pedestrian maps. We thought we could take the trail that ended at the north side of the museum (after about an hour of walking) and get in. The weather being hot and muggy, we thought we’d cool off inside. But at the top of the stairs the entrance was locked. I’m not sure if it’s an employee-only entrance, but we were pretty mad when we realized that not only was there no access from the north side, but the trail that would normally lead us around to the front of the building was closed!
Clearly this was a bad plan on their part not to provide an easy access back to the museum. There was no alternate way other than a mile back in the sweltering heat. After talking to an employee by phone, we realized that we were not getting those doors unlocked and had to just walk on back.
But in spite of this problem, I love Crystal Bridges. Where else will you find such a nice art museum in the Ozarks? It’s a peaceful place…
We did have a good laugh at one exhibit though, because in my opinion, canvas covered with one color of paint is not art (yes, there is one of those on display, currently).
There was a room containing 4 colored fluorescent bulbs vertically fixed in an ordinary light fixture. A bench was placed at the back of the room so that we could, as the exhibit explanation put it, appreciate the color and light. We laughed so much that a museum attendant had to look in on us. Now that I think of it, perhaps laughter was the artist’s intention! I personally believe we could have appreciated the piece more with music and drinks in the room.
However, art is fluid, flexible, and perhaps a lightbulb is art to some people! But I need a daiquiri to appreciate it.
We enjoyed an interactive exhibit in the Andy Warhol section, a yellow room with pink cow pictures on the walls…it had floating helium silver squares that kept circling the room. It seemed the height of the absurd, but it was fun to experience.
Of course CB has a lot of masterworks too. I always appreciate seeing my favorite pieces. Enjoy the pictures, and think of the museum when planning your next road trip! (my apologies that these are taken with my phone, but it’s kind of just to give you a general idea. The museum allows photography, but no flash photography, and these photos are for instructional purpose only!)
All photos taken at Crystal Bridges Museum.
update: We ended our day at Eureka Springs with dinner and yummy strawberry daiquiris which we enjoyed on the second story patio of the Basin Park Hotel. Perfect ending for a road trip before the drive back. I recommend the Basin Park restaurant. unfortunately, my phone was ready to die by this time…so here’s a Eureka photo that seems to mesh modern and nostalgic times with a pirate-style lantern: