University, Crystal Bridges Museum Share Many Ties
Some connections will be on display at the opening on 11-11-11Thursday, November 10, 2011
Computer rendering of the museum store at Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, designed by Distinguished Professor of architecture Marlon Blackwell.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – When the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art opens on Friday, Nov. 11, the University of Arkansas will be celebrating the addition of a new cultural icon in Northwest Arkansas. Since its conception, many people and units at the university have worked closely with the museum, both to celebrate its opening and to support it during the years to come.
“We are thrilled to have a role in the inauguration of this exciting new museum in Northwest Arkansas,” said University of Arkansas Chancellor G. David Gearhart. “We look forward to continuing our productive relationship with Crystal Bridges far into the future.”
Some of the university-museum connections include:
Marlon Blackwell, chair of the architecture department in the Fay Jones School of Architecture, designed the Crystal Bridges museum store.
The art department of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences has loaned the museum two pieces by Alexander Calder, an American sculptor best known for his mobile sculptures. They will be in place for the Nov. 11 opening.
A sculpture by George Dombek, who earned his bachelor’s degree from the Fay Jones School of Architecture in 1974, will be part of the outdoor artwork on the 100-acre site at Crystal Bridges. Dombek’s piece, Tour de Tree, is a 12-foot-high bronze sculpture of a bicycle formed from branches hanging in a tree.
The University Libraries has collaborated with the Crystal Bridges Museum Library on a number of shared programs. The holdings of the Crystal Bridges Library will be available in the University Libraries Online Library Catalog. Access to the Crystal Bridges collections will be available to all users on site at the opening of the museum. The two libraries will continue to develop programs and share resources in the future.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, run through the University of Arkansas Global Campus, has been offering courses with Crystal Bridges since the spring of 2008. Future OLLI programming linked with Crystal Bridges will be planed for fall 2012. Many OLLI members have gone through the museum’s docent training, including Ann Rosso and Linda Leavell. Tom Paradise, professor of geosciences, helped strengthen the relationship between OLLI and Crystal Bridges.
In celebration of the opening, the Razorback Marching Band, led by Benjamin Chamberlain, will be performing patriotic music at the conclusion of the opening ceremony.
In addition, visitors can look forward to a film produced by University of Arkansas professor Larry Foley this spring, which will take the viewer from the concept through construction to the dedication and public opening of Crystal Bridges. The Art of Crystal Bridges will be narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Mary Steenbergen. University of Arkansas professors and students involved in the project include Hayot Tuychiev, instructor, principal photographer and cinematographer; Dale Carpenter, chair of the Walter J. Lemke department of journalism and editor; James Greeson, professor of music and composer; and Ginny Lauren Hulette, graduate student and associate producer.
“It’s the first museum in half a century dedicated to American art,” Foley said.
“You’re never going to see George Washington. But when you stand there and look at Washington at Yorktown as painted by Charles Willson Peale, it gives you goose bumps,” Foley said. “To think that we have this in our own back yard is amazing.”
Melissa Blouin, director of science and research communication
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