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 genius of American art during visits to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the venerated Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and more as you travel to Arkansas and Missouri with an art historian.
- Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art: Journey to Bentonville, Arkansas, home of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the first major museum dedicated to American art to open in nearly 50 years. Its spectacular 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.
- Nelson Atkins Museum of Art: Take an in-depth tour of this collection of American masterpieces featuring artists such as Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, Winslow Homer, Childe Hassam, and Frederic Remington.
- Thomas Hart Benton: Visit acclaimed Missourian artist Thomas Hart Benton’s studio and residence, preserved nearly unchanged from the time of his death.
- Eureka Springs: Take an excursion to this charming town, known as a haven for artists and writers.
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)