Exquisite Creatures

Deference by Christopher Marley
48″x96″; ray-finned fish, Actinopterygii sp.; 2017. © 2024 Christopher Marley


Christopher Marley: Exquisite Creatures

at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, USA
16 March-29 July 2024

“Exquisite Creatures” is a three-dimensional exhibition that celebrates nature’s infinite variety. Created by artist and naturalist Christopher Marley, the show features more than 400 individual objects of preserved plant, animal, and mineral specimens, including crystals, lizards, beetles, parrots, butterflies, crabs, and much more. The stunning mix of colors and textures are arranged in precise geometric compositions, creating a mosaic of the natural world intended to inspire wonder and foster a desire for preservation.  

The exhibition is a dialogue with art, nature, and science that asks the question: what is it about the natural world that calls to us? Throughout the exhibition, artist and naturalist Christopher Marley reflects on humanity’s intimate relationship with nature, revealing its intricate beauty and diversity through three-dimensional works comprised of animal, mineral, and plant specimens arranged in precise, geometric compositions. Shown together, the works create an immersive environment which inspires wonder and fosters a desire to preserve the natural world.

Monochrome II by Christopher Marley
40″x40″; beetles and butterflies; 2021. © 2024 Christopher Marley

Crystal Bridges welcomes guests to experience the connection between art, nature, and science, emotionally and aesthetically, throughout the exhibition. The museum is activating the show’s themes through nature and science-based programming and activities both inside the museum and outdoors across its trails and grounds.

(Text adapted from material provided by the museum. Note from the artist: “My work incorporates elements of nature. All vertebrates are reclaimed specimens, none are killed for art.”)


Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, Arkansas 72712 USA
(479) 418-5700

Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 10AM-6PM
Thursday and Friday, 10AM-8PM