25 March 2015

road trip 2015: Fayetteville and Bentonville

The day started nicely, sharing breakfast with Jason and Jen Dean at Arsaga's at the Depot in downtown Fayetteville. Jen has an "I [red square] Judd" bumper sticker on the rear window. Love it, love Donald Judd. I wandered a bit on Dickson Street and then went up to the University of Arkansas campus. The Fay Jones School of Architecture is in Vol Walker Hall, the neoclassical former library with a new addition by Marlon Blackwell. It is next to the postmodern addition to Mullins Library. It's a lovely suite of buildings and I really like the mix of styles.
After meandering about the architecture building, I went over to the fine arts building which was designed by Edward Durell Stone. I found the library and looked at the biography of Stone by his son.
And then Jason called to say his meeting was over so I went over to the main library and got a basic tour including the Arkansas Architectural Archives.

Back to Dickson Street for a bit of looking about in the Dickson Street Book Shop. Chris Hilker called to say that Lynda White and her husband David had arrived and it was time to come over and then head off to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, about 25 miles North of Fayetteville. The museum has been open a few years and the building was designed by Moshe Safdie. There are a number of sculptures in the surrounding woods including a James Turrell skyscape. The special show was masterpieces from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo so now I know why some of my Buffalo friends weren't around the last time I was up there. They were wintering in Arkansas.

There was a small show at Crystal Bridges called "Picturing the male self" which included works by LGBT artists Cobi Moules, Paul Cadmus, George Tooker, and John Koch. The display of works from the Alfred Stieglitz Collection included ten by Marsden Hartley and five by Arthur G. Dove. There were a couple dozen Martin Johnson Heades, a lovely standing portrait of Alexander Hamilton by John Trumbull, a lovely wood sculpture entitled "Free" of a black man by Emma Marie Cadwalader-Guild (with whom I am not otherwise familiar), and lots of other works that I really enjoyed. A truly extraordinary collection of art, given its relative youth in museum years though the museum founder, Alice Walton, has been putting the collection together for some years.

The clear-sky morning had disappeared by mid-afternoon. At one point, the rain was pounding on the gallery roofs. People were checking their mobile devices for weather reports and saying things like "tornado watch."
I didn't get too wet and my umbrella will dry out. I'm staying at a Super 8 in Rogers, Arkansas, and there's a Denny's next door so I won't starve either.

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