So many of my friends have told me about their visits to Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Today, Larry and I took a day trip to visit. This museum of American Art is a wonder to behold. The artwork is well worth seeing, and talking with the docents who are stationed in the various rooms is fun to do. They have some background knowledge on pieces that is not posted on the walls!
One example is a Marble sculpture on loan from Tulane University –-Atala and Chactas, created in Rome by Randolph Rogers in 1854. The story given to me was that the American sculptor studied in Italy, where he created this piece. It was transported to America, (no easy feat, as the piece weighs a literal ton!) and was donated to Tulane and on exhibition, outdoors, for almost a century. Brought indoors, the only place to house it was in storage in a basement. When hurricane Katrina struck, the piece was under water. Insurance helped in the cost of restoration and it is now on loan to Crystal Bridges. As much as I enjoyed the collection of art, I was more intrigued with the architecture of the museum itself. It is nestled in a ravine, with a creek flowing under it. This building is really a part of the natural landscape–at least as much as a concrete building can be! If you are ever in the area of Eureka Springs, make sure to take a side trip to Bentonville and explore the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art. Free admission, too…Walmart is underwriting the entrance fee for visitors. This is truly a treasure!
July 21– Larry and I traveled to our state capitol. The Statehouse of Kansas has been under renovation since 1999.
“After 13 years and a $332 million renovation, the Kansas State Capitol Building is complete and gleaming like the day it was built. Touching every part of the Capitol, from two stories below the underground cornerstones to the top of the 306 foot dome, the renovation restored the original architect’s vision while increasing accessibility and safety for years to come.”
I must say that no matter your political stance, all Kansans can be and should be proud of what has been accomplished in this renovation. Paintings were uncovered, gold gilt was discovered when paint was removed, and stencils look as they did in the early 1900’s. Tours are given, explaining the renovation of the statehouse itself.
“Experience the Dome Tour
The Dome Tour is spectacular and breathtaking – literally – with 296 steps and no elevator, but it’s worth the effort. The Kansas Statehouse is the only U.S. capitol building where the public can go to the top of the dome and walk along the outside balcony for a birds-eye-view of the city. Beginning on the fifth floor, the tour explores the area between the inner and outer domes – what is visible both inside and outside. Connecting the two domes are a series of stairs and landings that offer an unparalleled look at the elaborate architecture. After scaling the 296 steps to the top, step outside onto the cupola balcony for a unique view of Topeka.”
The photos are from various viewpoints of the dome tour!.
After this adventure, we went to Cedarcrest. The governor’s residence is available for tours on Monday afternoons or by appointment on Tuesdays. It is a beautiful home, first built by an early Topeka Journal owner. It was totally renovated during Governor Anderson’s term, in the 1960’s. An update happened during 1999.
The floors are beautiful and among the best features in the home–oak with walnut pegs.