Crystal Bridges Knocks It Out of the Park with ‘Soul of a Nation’

The world-class Crystal Bridges of American Art has launched a new eye-opening exhibition that shines a light on the vital contribution of black artists during the tumultuous 1960’s, ‘70s and early ’80s. 

Named by the Observer as one of the 12 Must-See Exhibitions of 2018, Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power is on display at Crystal Bridges in Bentonville through April 23.

 L–R: Adger Cowans, “Shadows”, 1961; Benny Andrews, “Did the Bear Sit Under a Tree?”, 1969

This landmark exhibition was developed the Tate Modern art museum and galleries in London and made its U.S. debut at Crystal Bridges on Feb. 3.

        Wadsworth Jarrell,  “Revolutionary”, 1972.

With works by 60 artists from 1963 to 1983, Soul of a Nation includes vibrant paintings, powerful sculptures, street photography and murals. It explores the impact of the Black Power movement and the many ways artists of the era spoke through art to protest discrimination, rally people to their cause and celebrate black culture.

The exhibition begins with works created by the Spiral Group, a collective based in New York that opened up questions about the role of artists during the Civil Rights movement. 

Key events and cultural stimuli such as music, literature and sports, as well as significant symbols of the movement including Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcom X, are visible in Soul of a Nation

Crystal Bridges is one of only two American venues that are hosting this exhibition! Following its debut in Bentonville, it will travel to the Brooklyn Museum in New York.

Tickets to the featured exhibition are $10 per person; admission is free to museum members and youth 18 and younger.

Crystal Bridges welcomes all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. The museum’s permanent collection spans five centuries of American masterworks ranging from the Colonial era to the current day. Included within the collection are iconic images such as Asher B. Durand’s Kindred Spirits, Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter, and Andy Warhol’s Coca-Cola [3] — each reflecting a distinct moment in American artistic evolution — as well as major works by modern and contemporary American artists, including Georgia O’Keeffe, John Baldessari and James Turrell. Admission to view the museum’s permanent collection is free. 

On your visit to Crystal Bridges, don’t forget to also explore the nature trails and outdoor art installations, grab a bite at Eleven restaurant, or stop by the gift shop! More information at



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