At the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Arkansas

We have a special place in our hearts for Crystal Bridges. An amazing collection, a gorgeous building set in the water within a beautiful landscape. And if you can't get there in person, virtually explore with Smarthistory as your guide.

Some background

videos + essays

Link to the Crystal Bridges's website

Florine Stettheimer, <em>Portrait of Alfred Stieglitz</em>
Florine Stettheimer, Portrait of Alfred Stieglitz

This portrait gives us a glimpse into the creative circle of Alfred Stieglitz in 1920s New York, with references to Georgia O'Keeffe, Arthur Dove, Henry McBride, and others.

Henry Ossawa Tanner, <em>The Good Shepherd</em>
Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Good Shepherd

Painted after the end of World War I and amid pressure to "represent his race" as a Black man, Tanner brings biblical scenes into the modern world

Asher B. Durand, <em>Kindred Spirits</em>
Asher B. Durand, Kindred Spirits

One of the most recognized paintings in American history, this painting is an ode to friendship and nature

Edmonia Lewis, <em>The Old Arrow Maker</em>
Edmonia Lewis, The Old Arrow Maker

Edmonia Lewis, an artist of Black and Indigenous heritage, uses a neoclassical style to depict Indigenous subjects from a popular novel around the time of the U.S. Civil War

Rosa Rolanda, <em>Self-Portrait</em>
Rosa Rolanda, Self-Portrait

Rolanda, a close friend of Frida Kahlo, explores her Mexican identity in the 1930s with surrealism and a volcano

Georgia O’Keeffe, <em>Radiator Building—Night, New York</em>
Georgia O’Keeffe, Radiator Building—Night, New York

O'Keeffe takes on the New York skyline in the 1920s

Amy Sherald, <em>Precious Jewels by the Sea</em>
Amy Sherald, Precious Jewels by the Sea

This monumental painting of Black people at the beach speaks to a dearth of Black figures in the art history canon

Alma Thomas, <em>Lunar Rendezvous—Circle of Flowers</em>
Alma Thomas, Lunar Rendezvous—Circle of Flowers

Thomas takes inspiration from both the 1969 moon landing and her backyard garden

Kerry James Marshall, <em>Our Town</em>
Kerry James Marshall, Our Town

The American Dream is not what it seems in this artwork that combines painting and collage

Suchitra Mattai, <em>Exodus</em>
Suchitra Mattai, Exodus

Although there are no figures in this massive tapestry, the South Asian diaspora is manifest through the almost 200 globally sourced saris.

Elsie Driggs, <em>Blast Furnaces</em>
Elsie Driggs, Blast Furnaces

Finding beauty in American industry