So, it’s been more than a minute since I’ve posted to MWC. On several occasions, I’ve prepared pieces regarding Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art – the still shiny-new museum 30 minutes to the north of me that opened its doors in the fall of 2011 – and then decided against publishing them. Most of these posts would have attempted to parse some rather mixed blessings that CBMAA’s temporary exhibitions bestowed upon this region in the last few years. Not so for Van Gogh to Rothko, which presents a healthy dose of major works by significant 19th and 20th century artists of both European and American extraction, culled from the Albright-Knox Gallery’s collection. In college, I pored over library books reproducing many of these paintings. Soutine’s Slaughtered Ox, a Diebenkorn Berkely painting, De Kooning’s Gotham News. Robert Irwin, Francis Bacon, Philip Guston, Max Beckmann, Grace Hartigan…more than I’ll name here. Lee Krasner’s 1955 painting/collage, Milkweed, shown here, is a deft orchestration of shape and surface that must be seen firsthand to be appreciated. The exhibition’s timeline begins with post-impressionism (hence Van Gogh being named in the title), stepping broadly and boldly through a host of 20th century movements – surrealism, futurism, cubism, abex, minimalism. When I first heard an art museum was coming to Bentonville, this was the kind of experience I imagined – it’s finally here. I hope that there are more in store.