Crystal Bridges Acquires New Work by Walton Ford

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BENTONVILLE, ARK.- Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has acquired a major new work by Walton Ford, an artist winning international acclaim for his highly detailed, monumental watercolors of exotic birds, reptiles and mammals. In “The Island”, Ford presents a writhing pyramidal mass of Tasmanian wolves (thylacines) grappling with each other and a few doomed lambs. The violent extermination of the thylacines, which were hunted to extinction in the early 20th century, calls into question who is hunter and hunted in this savage tableau. “Thylacines were mysterious terrifying phantoms in the minds of Tasmanian settlers,” Walton Ford said via email. “I wanted to create a delirious image that suggested the thylacine’s doom. The painting could be interpreted as the hallucination of either the man or the beast.” Chris Crosman, chief curator for Crystal Bridges, describes the 8-feet-high by 11 ½-feet-long triptych as a “tour d