The conservator can talk about the nuts and bolts while I try and figure out what was going on in the artist's head and eye. In this case, what did Homer see, how did he chose to paint it, why that and how did he execute it.
400 artist studios in 40 cities. That's the current count of where Chad Alligood, Crystal Bridges' assistant curator for special projects, and I have traveled this summer and fall, crossing thousands of miles of this amazing country.
Those of us who live in California know quite a lot about Richard Diebenkorn. One of the great American artists of the 20th century, Diebenkorn is noted for, among other things, his long sojourns in Berkeley and Santa Monica.
Today at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, a new installation in our 20th century galleries is brimming with great works by women. These range from a Miriam Schapiro "femmage" to one of Susan Rothenberg's breakthrough horse paintings of the mid-1970s.
Buckyball made its debut this week as the first temporary sculpture installation on Crystal Bridges' trails and grounds, mesmerizing viewers with its endless color variations. Leo Villareal, the visionary artist who created the work, spent several days here.
Up for a month, the 1913 show of 1200 works, sponsored and curated by the Association of American Painters and Sculptors (AAPS), Inc., was seen by over 100,000 New Yorkers before traveling (in a smaller version) to Chicago and to Boston.
Although Andrews has become known for his later images, which were typically easier and lighter, the strength of There Must Be a Heaven lies in showing how long it took for Andrews to get to a place of peace.
American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell presents an opportunity for Crystal Bridges guests to really look at Rockwell as a painter, distinct from our knowledge of him as an image-maker or illustrator or commercial artist.
Published criticism of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art mostly addresses the folly of taking art to the hinterlands where the philistines will have no idea, to say nothing of appreciation, of what's going on. That's not what I experienced.
They were two American artists who, in their striking divergence, tell the story of a nation whose center seems ready to tear apart. Stress makes people look for extreme solutions, both in life and art.
If an exhibition intrigues and inspires me, then there is a chance that you will also be curious enough to jump in a car to see it. And to hell with the bad and mediocre stuff. There is always plenty of it. Why bother?