“It’s As If We Were Country Bumpkins Who Didn’t Appreciate Art”: The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Installation with Dale Chihuly glass work I remember clearly the brouhaha in Philadelphia over heiress Alice Walton’s attempt to purchase Eakins’s The Gross Clinic for the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas. Behind the claims that the painting was part of Philadelphia’s patrimony, were the barely veiled sneers about the painting being displayed in northwest …

Standin’ on the Corner: Route 66 and travel nostalgia

Ok, sometimes you just gotta do the tourist shot Every self-respecting road trip across the Southwest should at least acknowledge Route 66. Even if you don’t organize your road trip around the “the Mother Road”, the vestiges of the 1926 highway appear at crossroads, on road signs, in souvenir shops, at truck stops, or in …

There were people here: The Gila Cliff Dwellings, New Mexico

It's good to be reminded that people have always inhabited places we now call "wilderness". The Gila Wilderness, home to the Gila Cliff Dwellings, was the first wilderness area designated by Congress in 1924. I note that the Gila Wilderness claims to be the "first wilderness in the world", ignoring the fact that New York …

“$5000 Fine for Crossing the Border”: Following the Rio Grande in Texas

The edge of the Rio Grande at Grassy Banks Campground, Big Bend Ranch State Park No geographic feature signifies “BORDER” more than the Rio Grande River. Pete and I spent three days camping at the edge of the Rio Grande in Big Bend Ranch State Park, where the river is a murky green creek slowly …