Share the road with Ark & Galina travel photography nomad RV fulltimers
Share the road with Ark & Galina travel photography nomad RV fulltimers

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

We love this place. It was totally unexpected to find a great quality museum in middle of nowhere.

Alice Walton, the daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, spearheaded the Walton Family Foundation’s involvement in developing Crystal Bridges. The museum’s glass-and-wood design by architect Moshe Safdie and engineer Buro Happold features a series of pavilions nestled around two creek-fed ponds and forest trails. The soil is flinty silt loam derived from chert and cherty limestone and is mapped as Noark-Bendavis complex. The 217,000 square feet (20,200 m2) complex includes galleries, several meeting and classroom spaces, a library, a sculpture garden, a museum store designed by architect Marlon Blackwell, a restaurant and coffee bar, named Eleven after the day the museum opened, “11/11/11”. Crystal Bridges also features a gathering space that can accommodate up to 300 people. Additionally, there are outdoor areas for concerts and public events, as well as extensive nature trails. It employs approximately 300 people, and is within walking distance of downtown Bentonville.

The museum has amassed $488 million in assets as of August 2008, an amount that will increase as more pieces are continually added to the museum’s collection. It is the first major art museum (over $200 million endowment) to open in the United States since 1974. Over $317 million of the project’s cost has been donated by Alice Walton. A 2013 Forbes ranking of the world’s richest people placed the Wal-Mart heiress at No. 16, with an estimated net worth of $26.3 billion.

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