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A clearer picture of Crystal Bridges

(Leslie Newell Peacock, Arkansas Times) Tucked in a corner of Crystal Bridges Museum of Art are three unusual works: Children’s faces are painted onto artist’s palettes, the hole for the thumb incorporated into their faces as mouths. Joseph Decker’s paintings are weird and funny and, founder Alice Walton said in a small press gathering Monday, an example of a purchase for the museum that was more “intuitive” than calculated. She smiled broadly when asked about them. “Humor is important in a museum,” she said.

Walton said she was “thrilled beyond belief” that the museum, which she first announced to a room full of journalists and Bentonvillians in 2005, was about to open, and it showed. She was beaming.

The press got a quick tour of the galleries — an hour and a half is not enough time by any stretch to see what the museum has to offer — with the exception of the early 20th century galleries, where light protection is being installed to protect the paintings from the light of the glass bridge they are positioned on. The collection — about half is on view, director Don Bacigalupi said — is arranged chronologically, starting with colonial and revolutionary period works and moving into the landscapes of the 19th century and beyond.

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