Masterpieces of American Art
Celebrate the genius of American art during visits to the spectacular Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the venerated Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and more!
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Celebrate the history of American art during visits to the spectacular Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the venerable Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and more! Gain valuable insight from our Smithsonian expert throughout this unique art tour, which sold out quickly this year! Visit acclaimed Missouri artist Thomas Hart Benton’s studio carriage house and residence, preserved nearly unchanged from the time of his death. At the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, take an in-depth tour of the American art collections, featuring extensive holdings of Native American art and masterworks by Raphaelle Peale, Frederic Edwin Church, Thomas Hart Benton, as well as Isamu Noguchi and Claes Oldenburg. Then travel to Bentonville, Arkansas, home of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the first major museum of American art to open in nearly 50 years. Its galleries, nestled in the scenic Ozarks, feature a breathtaking collection of American masterworks, including iconic images by Asher B. Durand, Norman Rockwell, and Andy Warhol, each reflecting a distinctive moment in the evolution of American art history. Plus take an excursion to the charming town of Eureka Springs, known as a haven for artists and writers and for its lovely Victorian architecture. Limited to 34 participants.
Day 1 — Home, Welcome to Kansas City
Individual arrivals at The Raphael Hotel Kansas City. Join fellow travelers and your Smithsonian expert for a welcome reception, opening remarks, and dinner. (R,D)
Day 2 — Thomas Hart Benton Studio, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art-Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Spend the morning at the home of the famed Missouri artist Thomas Hart Benton. Visit his studio, which remains as he left it, including coffee cans full of paintbrushes, paints, and a stretched canvas waiting to be transformed into another masterpiece. Then tour the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, including the extensive collection of American artworks. Highlights include Raphaelle Peale’s Venus Rising from the Sea—A Deception, Frederic Edwin Church’s Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, and the American Historical Epic and Persephone of Thomas Hart Benton. Plus view a superb group of sculptures by Isamu Noguchi, as well as Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s Shuttlecocks. You’ll also visit the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, featuring dynamic modern and contemporary works by artists from around the world. This evening gather for a reception and a lecture by your Smithsonian expert followed by the remainder of the evening at leisure. (B, L)
Day 3 — Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Depart Kansas City for Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Upon arrival enjoy lunch and time to explore the galleries and shops on your own. Then enjoy a narrated tram tour of the charming Ozark town, known for its fine Victorian architecture and as a haven for artists and writers. Continue on to Bentonville late in the day and check in to the 21c hotel. Gather for a casual group dinner followed by the remainder of the evening at leisure. (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
This morning enjoy a leisurely breakfast before meeting your Smithsonian expert for a lecture. After an early group luncheon at the hotel, depart for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. With your Smithsonian expert as your guide explore the permanent collection, which spans five centuries, from the colonial era to the present day. Included in the collection are iconic pictures such as Asher B. Durand's Kindred Spirits, Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter, and Andy Warhol's Dolly Parton. The museum's collection also showcases major works by Stieglitz Circle artists and a Skyspace by James Turrell. Also enjoy free time to explore the museum on your own, including the extensive trails and outdoor features around the museum. Return to the hotel late in the day. Enjoy a festive farewell dinner at one of Bentonville’s fine restaurants. (B, L, D)
Day 5 — Bentonville, Kansas City International Airport, Home
After breakfast, depart Bentonville for Kansas City International Airport for flights home. (B)