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Sole Patron's Monumental Plan to Bring American Art to Middle America

Posted By Administration, Saturday, June 18, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Alice L. Walton and the Crystal Bridges Museum

Alice L. Walton, daughter of Wallmart giant, Sam Walton, is giving back in the form of high culture. Walton has been working quietly for half a decade to plan her vision, build her museum and collect works by American artists to fill it. The vision is both monumental and symbolic. Walton is bringing back a tradition of American wealth- building privately funded cultural centers. Isabella Stewart Gardner, John Pierpont Morgan Jr. and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney are long remembered and celebrated for generous contributions to art and culture, but it has been some time since we have seen philanthropy of this magnitude. Walton is going a step further in some ways, by choosing the site of her home town Bentonville, Arkansas. She is looking to put Bentonville on the map as an international cultural center.

Her decision to collect American Art is thoughtful, as if the works were home to stay. The collection compared to other museums may be small, but thats just for now- acquisitions have been steady and choices wide reaching. Colonial-era masters to contemporary heavyweights.

As opening day draws near, November 2011, excitement and anticipation mount.

Full story at New York Times.

Crystal Bridges Museum

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