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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Announces Gifts / Purchases from the Gordon W. Bailey Collection

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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Announces Gifts / Purchases from the Gordon W. Bailey Collection (Bentonville, ARK — September 12, 2019) — Crystal Bridges has acquired 23 artworks, by gift and gift/purchase, from the collection of Gordon W. Bailey, a Los Angeles-based collector. Bailey is a noted scholar and advocate of untrained Southern artists, particularly African-American, who struggled during the Jim Crow era.

“Gordon W. Bailey’s generous gifts are a welcome addition to our collection,” said Rod Bigelow, Crystal Bridges executive director and chief diversity and inclusion officer. “We’re grateful to be able to highlight and celebrate this array of inspiring works, primarily by African American artists, who have made important contributions to the American art historical canon. ” 

Highlights from Bailey’s group of works include: Dr. Crow, a painting on sheet metal by South Carolina artist Sam Doyle, whose works chronicled America’s unique Gullah culture, and were collected by Jean-Michel Basquiat; Cocaine Dog, a stirring, mixed media, metal sculpture by Thornton Dial Sr.; a poignant, 1950s, oil on board, Baptism, by Clementine Hunter; a six-foot tall, carved and painted, tree stump, Tree of Death, by Herbert Singleton, whose bas-relief works often address human frailty and hypocrisy; and several, outstanding, large-scale works by Purvis Young painted on wood panels reclaimed from cast-off shipping crates, and a 53-page book of Young’s mixed media works. 

“I have thoroughly enjoyed organizing this gift with Rod. He has shown keen insight, and an evolved social consciousness,” said Gordon W. Bailey. “The museum’s progressive board, headed by Crystal Bridges founder and board chair Alice Walton, is making bold moves, and has impressed me with their collective wisdom and commitment. The addition of, the Momentary, an innovative, contemporary, arts center, further ensures that the diverse and thriving region will continue to grow for decades to come.”

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way, Bentonville, AR 72712