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Crystal Bridges Sets Opening Date: Veterans Day, 2011

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Crystal Bridges Museum’s construction site, November 2010

Book your flight to Bentonville, art-lings. This just in from Alice Walton‘s in-construction Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art:

During
an update today on the progress of Crystal Bridges Museum of American
Art at the monthly meeting of the Arkansas State Parks, Recreation and
Travel Commission, Don Bacigalupi, Crystal Bridges’ executive director,
announced that the Museum will open to the public on Friday, Nov.
11, 2011. [That’s Veterans Day.] The announcement took place at the Doubletree Guest Suites and
Convention Center in Bentonville. Numerous regional leaders were in
attendance.

In September, Leslie Newell Peacock of the Arkansas Times was among those allowed to tour the site. Peacock wrote:

Once envisioned as a museum with 100,000-plus square feet of public
space, Crystal Bridges has grown to 217,000-plus square feet….Bacigalupi said only about 10 percent of the collection has been made
public. So far, 62 works have been announced or talked about.

On Sept. 15, Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times published an update on the ever-expanding collection:

Some $2 million worth of new acquisitions were announced today, including Andy Warhol‘s 1985 painting of Dolly Parton. (The polymer and silkscreen ink on canvas
was sold by Sotheby’s in May for $914,000.) Acquisitions also include Roy Lichtenstein‘s sculpture, “Standing Explosion (Red),” sold at Christie’s in May for $722,500, and Benjamin West‘s “Cupid and Psyche.” The Corcoran Gallery once owned it [see below], but sold it at Christie’s last year for $458,500.

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Sold by the Corcoran, bought by Crystal Bridges: Benjamin West, “Cupid and Psyche,” 1808

The Corcoran was actually the consignor of the West to the Jan. 28, 2009 Christie’s auction. The D.C. museum had included it in several special exhibitions (scroll down)—most recently in its 2004-2005 show of “The Human Form in American Art”—before deeming it expendable. As part of its “refining and strengthening” of its collection, the Corcoran had offered 10 additional American paintings at Christie’s American art auction on Dec. 4, 2008. The West was included in the following month’s sale of “important old masters.”

But back to Bentonville: Here’s the museum’s 10-page online compilation of selected acquisitions. Warhol’s “Dolly” and Lichtenstein’s “Explosion” can be viewed here. The West has not, at this writing, been posted.

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