We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy

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We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy

October 18, 2022 @ 12:00 pm

What does the US Constitution mean to you? The world’s longest-surviving written charter of government is much more than a piece of paper seen behind glass on a field trip. It is a living, breathing document that affects our lives every day.

In a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a rare, original print of the US Constitution (one of only eleven known in the world) is going on view at Crystal Bridges in We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy. In this free exhibition, the document is displayed in conversation with works of art by influential historical and contemporary artists that provide diverse American perspectives on the nation’s founding principles.

Original prints of the Declaration of Independence, the proposed Bill of Rights, and the Articles of Confederation can be viewed along with several new acquisitions. Portraits of Native American leaders, including John Mathies’s depiction of Seneca leader Red Jacket, hang beside familiar paintings of revolutionary leaders such as Alexander Hamilton by John Trumbull. Constitutional themes of equality, freedom, and justice are explored in twentieth-century works by Jacob Lawrence and Gordon Parks, among others, while living artists such as Roger Shimomura, Luis C. Garza, and Shelley Niro address past and present struggles for equality.

Opening July 2, we welcome all to witness history and consider our present moment through the power of art with this unique exhibition.

Admission to this exhibition is free.

We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy is sponsored by Kenneth C. Griffin.

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The exhibition will be located in the Modern Art Gallery. Admission to Crystal Bridges’ collection galleries is always free.

What does the Constitution mean to you? On September 16 and 17, we invite you to join artists, scholars, and civic organizations for a weekend commemorating the enduring impact of our nation’s founding documents with artmaking, conversation, performances, and more.

Thanks for joining us at Constitution Weekend! Be sure to sign up for eNews to get updates about upcoming programs and events delivered straight to your inbox.


Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR 72712 United States
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(479) 418-5700
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