Welcome to Off the Wall. We’ve skimmed the news around the museum, and want to share the highlights with you.
Written while reminiscing about how easy it was to find parking when the students were gone.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.” -Frank Lloyd Wright
BENTONVILLE OR BUST
The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art plans two Museum Association trips a year–one in the spring and one in the fall. Last April, we took a fun jaunt up to the Philbrook in Tulsa, Oklahoma. If you missed it, I’m sorry; it was amazing. This fall, we’re taking a trip to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (CBMAA) in Bentonville, Arkansas. Thankfully, we turned our artistic noses up at the thought of all that driving in one day, and made the brilliant decision to turn the trip into an overnight excursion. You’re welcome.
WHY ARE WE GOING?
I’m so glad you asked. The CBMAA recently uprooted Frank Lloyd Wright’s Bachman-Wilson House from its original location alongside the Millstone River in New Jersey. The house itself is a work of art, demonstrating simplicity and form and representing Wright’s organic design philosophy. The house will have just opened when we visit this fall, so our group will be one of the first to explore it upon reopening. We’ll also get the opportunity to explore the CBMAA installation 1940s to Now. Even if you aren’t interested in the installation, you’ll get to can hang out with Chad Alligood, the installation’s curator, who was featured in Esquire for his snazzy fashion know-how. All joking aside however, there’s no way you won’t be interested in 1940s to Now. The installation contains well-known works like Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter, Janet Sobel’s Hiroshima, Mark Rothko’s No. 210/211 (Orange), and Joan Mitchell’s largest gestural painting, Untitled. Side note, if you show up to the tour dressed as Rosie, I’ll buy you a drink. (If you show up dressed as Untitled I’ll probably assume you already had a drink and spilled it on yourself.) We’ll also have the opportunity to explore downtown Bentonville, check out the Walmart museum, and take a tour of the 21c Museum Hotel.
TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE HOUSE
Originally built in 1954, the house was purchased in the 80s by architect and design team Lawrence and Sharon Tarantino (no relation to Quentin, to the best of my knowledge). Despite the Tarantinos’ meticulous restoration of the home, the river continued to creep up on the property, threatening the preservation of the house with flooding. The Tarantinos decided that the best thing for the house would be to sell it to an institution willing to relocate it for preservation. After years of searching, CBMAA took the orphaned home under its wealth-feathered wing in 2013. This acquisition included the house and all the interior fixtures and furnishings. They disassembled the house, moved it to Arkansas, and reassembled it on the 120-acre grounds of the CBMAA. I can really relate to this grueling process, because a similar event took place in the summer of 1999 when my mother’s encroaching vacuum cleaner forced me to disassemble a Lego kingdom and reassemble it in a different room of my home. This venture was slightly less costly.
I’D LIKE TO GO BUT WILL THE DRIVE BE BORING?
Thankfully, the time of year the trip is taking place will ensure that there is always a lot to see out the bus window. You’ll get to sit back and enjoy the magnificent fall colors as we wind through the foothills of the Ozark Mountains.
Overnight trip to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The deadline to sign up is FRIDAY AUGUST 21. Yes, a week from today. The trip will take place October 20, and we will return on the 21st. The cost for the trip is $280 for museum members, $330 for not-yet-members. You can call me at (405) 325-2297 and sign up over the phone, OR you can download the trip brochure and mail it to us.
REPEAT AFTER ME…
WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOUR FRIENDS KEEP INVITING YOU TO EXPENSIVE RESTAURANTS:
I wish you’d go through your “Usonian” period. The architecture of the Bachman-Wilson house reflects Wright’s “Usonian” period: during which the architect strove to design a distinctly American style of housing that was accessible and affordable to all, while still reflecting Wright’s principles regarding integration with nature, quality of materials, and openness of design.
THINGS TO KNOW
One word: Okay, three words. Momma. Yoder’s. Meatloaf. That’s right. On our way to Bentonville, we’ll be stopping in Muskogee at an Amish Restaurant and country store. You’ll have the choice of any item off of the restaurant’s ‘Brown Buggy Special’ menu. We’re talking lightly-breaded, juicy-delicious, tastebud-tempting home cookin’. If you can stay awake on the bus after this meat-and-potatoes meal we will be very impressed.
Trippership: When you become a Museum Association member and sign up for the trip at the same time, you’ll get more bang for your buck. Fun fact: if you become a member for $40, you’re actually saving $10 on that non-member fee, AND getting all the member perks. Your accountant father would be disappointed if you didn’t get the most out of your money.
artists born several years ago this week:
8/10 William Harnett | 8/11 Claude Joseph Varnet | 8/12 Thomas Bewick | 8/13 George Luks, James Gillray | 8/14 Carle Vernet | 11/15 Francesco Zuccarelli, Ivan Mestrovi, Richard Deacon | 8/16 Agostino Carracci