It's coming... and we can hardly wait! Opening 11-11-11,
the dream of the Walton family come to fruition. When Sam and Helen Walton operated the Five and Dime on Bentonville, Arkansas' tiny square no one ever thought that a world renowned museum would be just a short walk away.
The Museum sets on 120 acres of pristine Ozark land, owned by the Walton family and nestled around Crystal Springs that runs through the property. The glass and wood building was designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. A series of pavilions flank galleries, meeting and classroom spaces, and a large auditorium. Sculpture and walking trails link the Museum’s park and gardens to downtown Bentonville.
To say we are excited and proud to live close to this magnificent project is an understatement! Crystal Bridges will undoubtedly spur the growth of Northwest Arkansas.
Crystal Bridges will house a permanent collection of masterworks of American art ranging from the colonial era to contemporary work. Guests will be able to enjoy the collection within the state-of-the-art galleries and throughout the surrounding park.
Ploughing it Under, a painting that defined the uncertainty of Depression-era America, is a part of the permanent collection. Alice Walton, philanthropist and chairman of the museum board, made the announcement regarding this well-known work by long-time Kansas City resident and Missouri native Thomas Hart Benton...
“Telling the story – especially stories that haven’t been told or have been forgotten – is one of our primary goals,” said Walton. “It is the intention of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art to build meaningful connections between art and life and to make sense of the forces that define the American experience. This painting by Benton certainly does just that and, in fact, enlightens and reminds us of another era of economic uncertainty in our history.”
The natural beauty that surrounds the museum are a work of art as well. A mature forest that looks as though it might be in the Ozark wilderness is actually property in downtown Bentonville.
The many trails that surround the museum will allow visitors to enjoy the native trees and plants.
Beautiful Crystal Springs trickles over limestone rocks and you feel as if you are the middle of a unfound forest, birds twittering and the silence of nature make this a place to come and take a deep breath from life's busy schedules.
One thing for sure, the sleepy little hamlet of Bentonville, Arkansas is going to change. Projected visitors for Crystal Bridges first year are in the 250,000 range.
The gift that the Walton Family have given us will allow generations to see American History through art, possibly the best interpretation of all.