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
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