Art Treasures in America’s Heartland

Crystal BridgesIn April, trustees from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art visited Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma with Academic Arrangements Abroad. As part of “The Arts in America’s Heartland,” the travelers toured some of the Midwest’s top museums, got a glimpse at private collections and admired buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and other famous architects.

“We had never been to that part of the country before, and you gave us so many varied experiences!” said one program participant after the journey. “Fabulous museums with great lecturers, interesting private collections, architectural masterpieces, delicious meals—all beautifully paced, plus some time on our own.”

Nelson-AtkinsThe group started out in Kansas City to explore museums including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. In Bentonville, Arkansas, they toured the acclaimed Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Founded by Alice Walton and designed by architect Moshe Safdie, Crystal Bridges features works ranging from Colonial to contemporary times.

Philbrook MusuemIn Tulsa, renowned for its art deco architecture, they saw collections of art of the American West at the Gilcrease Museum and American and European paintings at the Philbrook. Program participants also admired Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in nearby Bartlesville.

“We drove to Bartlesville to visit the Price Tower and were warmly welcomed with docent tours and a reception,” said Lynn Johnston, an Archives of American Art trustee. “This trip was a huge success.”

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