September 6-8 2024
3 days | Max 26 guests
Wright and the American South
Make your way to the 21c Museum Hotel, just steps from the quaint main square in Bentonville, Arkansas. The hotel, which exhibits a rotating collection of contemporary art, is the perfect base for our weekend exploration of art and architecture. Meet your Frank Lloyd Wright tour leaders and fellow travelers and depart for Crystal Bridges, a well-known museum with a stellar collection of American Art, housed amid 120 acres of natural beauty. Enjoy an exclusive, private tour of the Bachman-Wilson House, a classic example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian architecture. Originally built for Gloria and Abraham Wilson in 1956 along the banks of the Millstone River in New Jersey, it was acquired by architect/designer team Lawrence and Sharon Tarantino in 1988, who lovingly restored it. Unfortunately, the house was subsequently threatened by repeated flooding, and in 2013, Crystal Bridges stepped in to save the house by reconstructing it on a similar wooded, waterfront site, in 2015. Next, view museum highlights before our private Welcome Dinner at the excellent Eleven at Crystal Bridges—housed in one of Moshe Safdie‘s “bridge” structures suspended over the water. Enjoy cocktails and locally sourced, globally inspired dishes while watching the changing light transform the surrounding views through the dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows.
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After breakfast on your own, depart for Huntsville, a small town in the Ozark mountains. We are invited to the Faubus House (also known as the Governor House) by the owner, architect Jonathan Formanek. The luxurious 7,356 square foot mansion, which hovers along the edge of a bluff, was designed by Taliesin fellow E. Faye Jones, a native of Arkansas, in 1967 for Governor Orval Faubus and his wife Alta. While the primary building material is local fieldstone, the west elevations are almost entirely of glass, shaded by the wide roof overhang. Inside, two spacious living rooms are separated by a fieldstone wall with back-to-back fireplaces. Jones also designed some of the furniture, which is still in use. The house exhibits the integration of site, nature, and architecture that became a hallmark of Jones’ subsequent designs.
After lunch, continue to Eureka Springs, which includes the highest number of Victorian-era houses west of the Mississippi. Our destination is the 1980 Thorncrown Chapel, also designed by E. Faye Jones. Thorncrown was listed fourth on the AIA’s top ten buildings of the 20th century and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. Inspired by the light-filled gothic chapel Sainte Chappelle of Paris. It is hard to determine where the building ends and nature begins. Jones affectionately labeled Thorncrown’s style as “Ozark Gothic.”
Return to the hotel for an optional tour of the current contemporary art exhibition, followed by our Farewell Dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, Hive, which is known for Southern cuisine with a modern twist.
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After breakfast on your own, check out of the hotel and depart for Fayetteville. Our destination is the Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel, also by Jones. Like Thorncrown, this chapel is transparent. Over 4,000 square feet of glass cover a structure of fifteen 50-foot steel gothic arches, totaling 31 tons. Despite its weight, the chapel is light and airy, at one with the surrounding pine and oak trees. Next, depart for the Northwest Regional Airport. The bus will make stops at Crystal Bridges and the hotel for those continuing their journey. Extra nights are available upon request.
WARNING: This program involves walking on steep and rocky terrain. Participants must be physically fit.
Daily Itinerary subject to change.
Two nights’ accommodations at 21c Museum Hotel, Bentonville