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Crystal Bridges Museum Of American Art Bentonville Ar

You Will Be Able To Explore On Your Own Or Take A Tour

Bridging the Gap Between People and Art | Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR

After you are welcomed you will receive a map of the displays and the grounds and can ask questions about any particular pieces of art that you are interested in seeing. There are also free one hour drop in tours available on a daily basis so be sure and request information about those as well.

There are several different tours to choose from on different days of the week including the highlights of Crystal Bridges permanent collection. There are self-guided and audio tours available as well.

Crystal Bridges Art Collection

Our art collection offers a superb overview of American art. The galleries include American masterworks and surprising lesser-known gems from the colonial era to today. Sculptures grace both interior galleries and outdoor trails. The museums permanent collection galleries are refreshed regularly.

New acquisitions and works from the museums vaults are displayed on a rotating basis. Familiar guest favorites and a changing array of special focus groupings and temporary installations of light-sensitive works provide opportunities for new visitor discoveries on every visit.

Anyone unable to visit and those looking to enhance their on-site experience

Special Exhibitions

A year-round schedule of temporary exhibitions enhances the guest experience by providing opportunities to enjoy traveling exhibitions from other institutions, or special presentations of artworks from our own and other museum collections.

Current exhibitions Upcoming exhibitions Past exhibitions

I have a question about a work in the museums collection and would like to speak to a curator.Please email your question to . This is the best way to contact a curator. All correspondence received at this address will be routed to the appropriate member of the curatorial staff.

Can I bring/mail my original artwork to the museum for someone to look at?We ask that you do not bring or send any original artwork to the museum as we cannot be held responsible for its safe keeping or its return.

How Alice Walton Is Bringing The Art World To Bentonville Arkansas

The world’s second-richest woman on a decade of her Crystal Bridges Museum of American Artand what’s still to come.

Louise Bourgeoiss Maman spider presides over the courtyard that leads to the south entrance to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Its a fitting welcome to the 200,000-square-foot museum, in Bentonville, Arkansas, that is Alice Waltons baby. Nestled on 120 acres of Ozarks forest, where young Walton and her brothers, heirs to the Walmart fortune, would ride horses and hike, the institution will celebrate its 10th anniversary this month and embark upon a vast expansion, both of the museum and of Waltons philanthropic vision. Within the next year, Walton will oversee the addition of 100,000 square feet of galleries, educational facilities, and event spaces, as well as the construction of a headquarters for her Art Bridges foundation, which seeks to expand access to American art across the nation, and for her Whole Health Institute, an endeavor focused on holistic health and well-being.

Turquoise Reeds and Ozark Fiori

And then I thought, What could I do that would really make a difference in this part of the world? she says. My mama always said, Give the thing you love the most. And other than family, I decided that had to be artI didnt think they wanted my horses, the retired champion cutting rider says with a chuckle.

Two-Headed Figure Town & Country

This story appears in the November 2021 issue of Town & Country.

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Crystal Bridges Museum Of American Art

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Front entrance
11 November 2011
free garage and surface lot on site
Website .org

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is a museum of American art in Bentonville, Arkansas. The museum, founded by Alice Walton and designed by Moshe Safdie, officially opened on 11 November 2011. It offers free public admission.

What To Expect At Crystal Bridges Museum Of American Art

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville ...

Crystal Bridges has now been open since 2011 and this amazing museum has proven that the critics were wrong. In 2015 Forbes even included it in a list of art museums around the world entitled 13 Art trips you need to take.

Here is what you will discover on a visit to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

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Fyi: Fort Smith Symphony Performs Saturday


Grand Lake Boat & Sport Show — 10 a.m.-8 p.m. today 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Grove Civic Center in Grove, Okla. $5.

Drop-In Tour — Sculpture, 1 p.m., Garrison Lobby at Crystal Bridges Museum. Free. 657-2335 or

Volunteer Orientation — 1 p.m., The Momentary in Bentonville. Free.

Adult Workshop — Crystal Terrariums, 5-8 p.m., Great Hall at Crystal Bridges Museum. $55. 657-2335 or

Friends Book Sale — 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday & 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Fayetteville Public Library.

Super Saturday — Read with the Razorbacks, 10 a.m., Fayetteville Public Library. Free.

Family Workshop — Make a Gnome with Paula Hayes, 10 a.m.-noon, Durand/Estes Rooms at Crystal Bridges Museum. $10. 657-2335 or

Artist Talk — With Caddo/Winnebago artist Dolores Purdy, 11 a.m., Museum of Native American History via Zoom. Free. Register at

Roundtable Conversation — “Cross Pollination, Art & Ecology,” 2 p.m., Modern Art Gallery at Crystal Bridges Museum. Free. 657-2335 or

Teen Hangout — Crystal Terrariums with Paula Hayes, 4:30-6 p.m., Durand/Estes Rooms at Crystal Bridges Museum. Free. 657-2335 or

“Classical Masters” — With the Fort Smith Symphony, 7 p.m., Arcbest Performing Arts Center in Fort Smith. $20-$50. 452-7575 or


— Becca Martin-Brown

American Art From A Variety Of Artists

One writer with the Washington Post recently posed the question, Is Crystal Bridges, in rural Arkansas, the most woke museum in America? This is due to the fact that there are so many works of art in the museum that were NOT created by white men.

You notice this diversity particularly while perusing the gallery of recent and contemporary art, and it feelsorganic. Although Im certain that there has been purpose in every purchase, you get a sense that Ms Walton and her curators are simply selecting the best, the most representative American art regardless of who created it.

One American museum recently announced that it would only buy artwork by women during 2020. Thats nice. Im sure they have good intentions.

But at Crystal Bridges there is a feeling of of inclusivity that just islike they are organically inclusive because they actually recognize that good art comes from a variety of sources.

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Collaboration With Other Museums And Institutions

Portrait of Professor Benjamin H. RandThomas Eakins

In 2006, the museum partnered with the National Gallery of Art in an attempt to purchase Thomas EakinsThe Gross Clinic from Thomas Jefferson University. Under the terms of the agreement, the two museums agreed to pay a record $68 million, but the university gave Philadelphia 45 days to match the offer. The Philadelphia Museum of Art and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts agreed to collectively match the offer and the painting remained in Philadelphia. The purchase forced both museums to sell some of their best Eakins pieces including Cowboy Singing and The Cello Player. In April 2007, Crystal Bridges acquired another Eakins belonging to Thomas Jefferson University entitled Portrait of Professor Benjamin H. Rand for an estimated $20 million.

Walton held talks with Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia in spring of 2007. The college was exploring selling part of the Maier Museum of Art‘s collection, but voted instead to sell select items from the collection at Christie’s.

In early 2020, Crystal Bridges opened a satellite facility called The Momentary focused on visual and performing arts, culinary experiences, festivals, and artists-in-residence.

Building Art Bridges: Nonprofit Helps Spread The Beauty And The Word

Architecture Tour of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

In the family of American museums, you could say that Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is now an older sibling.

Its little sister is Art Bridges, a relatively new nonprofit organization established by Alice Walton that builds lasting relationships with other museums across the country through collection loans, traveling exhibits, the creation of art programs, funding and much more.

Its an art and art education delivery system, says Paul Provost, chief executive officer of Art Bridges. Were in the business of delivering art and education around that art, then activating it once we distribute and get them on the road.

Since it formed in 2017, Art Bridges has helped connect a total of 170 museums, enabling artworks and collections that would otherwise sit unused in a museums storage facility to be on view and celebrated at smaller museums around the country.

But Art Bridges is not done forming that network yet. It plans to continue increasing partnerships with museums across the U.S., says Gabriel Ford, director of marketing and communications for the organization.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts of St. Petersburg in Florida and the Missoula Art Museum in Montana are among the current partners in the national network.

Provost spoke openly about the mission and purposes of the organization during a recent episode of Onward Ozarks, a podcast series created by the Northwest Arkansas Council, recorded over Zoom for a large audience.

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Branson Day Trips: Crystal Bridges Museum Of American Art

If you’re a lover of art, the next time you’re in Branson you need to schedule a day-trip to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark.

If you’re a lover of art, the next time you’re in Branson you need to schedule a day-trip to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark.

The museum opened in 2011 and has quickly become one of the most significant private art collections in the United States. Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, led the multi-year effort to create this world-class museum in Walmart’s hometown of Bentonville. Crystal Bridges is a scenic, two-hour drive from Branson.

The museum itself and the surrounding landscaping is a work of art, designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie.

The museum’s permanent collection is free to the public thanks to an endowment from the Walton Family Foundation. Crystal Bridges’ collection, valued at more than a half-billion dollars, includes works from practically every significant American artist and ranges from the Colonial and Revolutionary Eras to several 21st Century works.

Notable pieces in the permanent collection include:

  • Portrait of George Washington by Charles Willson Peale
  • Cupid and Psyche by Benjamin West
  • Rosie the Riveter by Norman Rockwell
  • Green River, Wyoming by Thomas Moran
  • Kindred Spirits by Asher Durand
  • The Zodiacal Light by Étienne Léopold Trouvelot

The details:

At Crystal Bridges Museum You Will Find Art Both Inside And Out

Crystal Bridges sits in the midst of 120 acres of forests and trails. Be sure and take a look at the trail maps. You will definitely want to walk the trails to both experience the beauty of the area as well as to see the art installations that are outside the walls of the museum.

Plus you will discover some wonderful views of the building which is a work of art itself. Tip: Wear comfortable shoes. Tip: Winters days can often be mild in Arkansas which means that winter can be a wonderful time to be outside in addition to spring and fall. Tip: Summers are hot and muggy so be prepared for that.

Take a look at the stone grotto that runs along the west side of Crystal Bridges upper pond. It is made of boulders that are covered in natural quartz crystals. These boulders were excavated from a mine in west central Arkansas, an area that produces some of the largest and clearest quartz crystals in the world.

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What People Thought About Crystal Bridges Museum Of American Art Before It Opened

Before its opening the art world elite was all aflutter because Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art was destined to be located in Bentonville, AR. Which, by the way, is really not totally isolated, or impoverished, or remoteall things that it was accused of being when word got out of the plans for the museum.

Ms Alice Walton, Walmart heiress, as well as the founder and benefactor of Crystal Bridges, was treated with not a little derision for her decision to build the museum in her beloved Bentonville. The coastal art people were astounded that this museum was to be in a fly-over state.

Decrying the location wasnt the worst of it, the museum was also called a moral blight because Ms. Walton dared to build during a recession. She was accused of cultural vandalism because she purchased art, willingly sold by the way, that had once hung in other places. In particular it caused quite a stir when she purchased Kindred Spirits by Asher B. Durand from the New York Public Library.

Fortunately, she was not to be deterred and continued with her plans despite the naysayers.

Crystal Bridges Museum Of American Art Bentonville Ar



The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is a museum in Bentonville, Arkansas. Designed by Moshe Safdie, the museum complex also includes the Bachman-Wilson House by Frank Lloyd Wright.

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art was founded in 2005 by Alice Walton , the only daughter of Walmarts founder Sam Walton and reputedly the worlds wealthiest woman, and opened to the public on November 11, 2011, in Bentonville, AR the city where Alice Walton was raised with the mission to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature.

Above: one of the bridge pavilions of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Photo Kevin Dooley.

ArchitectureDesigned by famed Israeli-Canadian architect Moshe Safdie in the middle of a 120-acre park, the 217,000 square-foot architectural complex of the museum consists of eight wood-and-glass pavilions clustered around two ponds and surrounded by forests with shrubs and trees mostly oaks, dogwoods, and white pines native of Arkansas Ozarks region.Safdie designed two of the pavilions as bridge-like structures, spanning the ponds, to create a circular visiting path flowing through the whole complex, also providing beautiful views of the ponds and the surrounding landscape.The buildings structure consists of concrete walls and columns supporting vaulted roofs with laminated timber beams and copper cladding and decks made of Arkansas pine wood.

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Crystal Bridges Museum Of American Art Wedding Venue

Crystal Bridges has been called a hidden gem of the Ozarks after all, most people would not expect a premier American art museum to be nestled in the northwest corner of Arkansas. But what some still might not know is that it isnt just a museum Bentonvilles cultural icon is also a beautiful backdrop for any ceremony. After all, shouldnt your wedding be a work of art itself?

Crystal Bridges takes the idea of a traditional museum and promptly flips it on its head. The cool grey exterior is the very best of modern architecture, while inside its gallery youll stand face to face with a portrait of George Washington. Visitors are encouraged to deeply connect with the art through programs and workshops, rather than just gaze at it and continue walking. Founder Alice Walton created the space to serve as a celebration of the American spirit through art and nature, a place to tell the story of us as a nation. So what better place to celebrate you as a couple than the museum thats been happily marrying its work with the natural beauty of Northwest Arkansas since 2011?

Crystal Bridges Museum Of Art Mission Statement

The mission statement of Crystal Bridges is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature.

A Spirit of Welcome

to welcome all What could be more perfect, indeed what could be a more profound statement than a gorgeous building filled with amazing works of American art plopped down unexpectedly in the middle of the United States allowing average Americans to experience a world class museum only a car ride away.

The art crowd said that nobody would come to Bentonville, Arkansas. Perhaps they dont understand geography? Perhaps they dont understand any culture but their own?

Instead, Crystal Bridges welcomed their 2 millionth visitor by 2015 and their 4 millionth by 2018. Art lovers come from all over the world to Crystal Bridges, but mostly they come from Arkansas and its neighboring states.

The setting and the Building are Part of the Experience

uniting the power of Art with the beauty of nature

The much maligned location provides a glorious backdrop. Crystal Bridges was designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie. The museum nestles in a hollow like a vision of a rustic spaceship. It is all curved walls and curved roof lines and curved ceiling joistsglass and wood and copper. The various structures are connected by bridges over spring fed ponds. Tree covered hills rise softly on each side. Everywhere you look nature becomes a part of the installation.

And this was the plan.

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Crystal Bridges Museum Of American Art Announces Its First Architecture Exhibition

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, an institution founded by billionaire Walmart heiress Alice Walton in Bentonville, Arkansas, will host its first-ever exhibition of architectural work next year. The museum, located on a sprawling campus designed by Moshe Safdie, announced its full 2022 temporary exhibition program last weeka lineup that also includes its first show dedicated to American fashion and an exhibit that explores connections between music and visual arts in Black cultural expression from the American South.

Architecture at Home, as the show is titled, will include commissioned works by five design firms with diverse leadership: studioSUMO, LEVENBETTS, MUTUO, PPAA , and studio:indigenous. Each firm was asked to examine the specific challenges and opportunities present in Northwest Arkansas and, in turn, develop a full-scale housing prototype that explores the potential of domestic architecture to address an array of local and global issues.

With a focus on use of materials, scale, form, light, and interaction with the landscape, according to the museum, the prototypes will reflect transformative, yet grounded approaches to how American communities might approach domestic architecture in the future. Environmental consciousness and attainability will take center stage in the six-month show, opening up the possibility that some of what is produced could one day become actual housing.

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