This is a hard one to summarize in a short review. Crystal Bridges Museum really tries - really. The facility and setting are wonderful, a delightful blending of setting - Ozark woodlands, water features, creative architecture in the gallery pavilions. The docents and professional staff were southern-style friendly and helpful. The parking, the cafeteria ("Eleven"), the Museum Store, the amenities, are all well thought out, and made our visit quite comfortable.
Now, the collection: we started off thrilled with the drawings, prints, and paintings, of early Native Americans, including Catlin, but gradually, as we made our way through the galleries and the American centuries, the excitement started to wane a bit. There are high points - a group of excellent (not great) Thomas Hart Bentons (this is Bentonville, after all), some nice groupings of secondary artists representing "schools of", an unusual selection of Andrew Wyeths. The mid-late 20th Century, which means my artistic contemporaries, had a good collection and some wonderful surprises, which I enjoyed. It is a piece of NYC art scene moved out of time and place to modern day Northwest Arkansas, and each can use the other's company.
Even with those little disappointments I mentioned, I must emphasize that if the opportunity presents itself, don't miss Crystal Bridges. (Allow half-day for the galleries, half-day for walking the trails on the grounds.)
If you own or manage Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.