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

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

Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds, <em>Native Hosts (Arkansas)</em>
Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds, Native Hosts (Arkansas)

Signs to guide historical understanding

Wooldridge, <em>Indians of Virginia</em>
Wooldridge, Indians of Virginia

Europe's earliest views of America

Bellows, <em>Return of the Useless</em>
Bellows, Return of the Useless

The New York based ashcan artist George Bellows tackles the horrors of the First World War

Maya Lin’s Silver Upper White River
Maya Lin’s Silver Upper White River

The river's brilliant reflections gave shape to this enormous sculpture of silver

A Harlem street scene by Jacob Lawrence, <em>Ambulance Call</em>
A Harlem street scene by Jacob Lawrence, Ambulance Call

Lawrence captures the vitality of Harlem and highlights the advancements in medical care for and by people of color.