Photo Courtesy of Crystal Bridges
You are going to hear a lot more about Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Arkansas. The New York Times
calls it " the art
museum Wal-mart money built.” oO you might have heard about the uproar caused by Alice Walton’s purchase of a landmark Hudson River School landscape painting, Kindred Spirits,
by Asher B. Durand, from the New York Public Library for around $35 million. Apparently the library needed the money and Ms. Walton, the daughter of Sam Walton and founder of Wal-Mart, had it. How scandalous is that? The real story is how the painting was carried off to a little known neck of the woods in Middle America where a world-class museum was designed and built by renowned, Israeli-born architect Moshe Safdie.
On a pristine 120 acre site that features six pedestrian and multi-use trails winding through woods and gardens, sits the Crystal Bridges Museum, connected by the surrounding neighborhoods, parks, and downtown Bentonville. This is how New York Times
writer Roberta Smith puts it, “You are never far from the outdoors, never cocooned by a maze of galleries. Moving through the building becomes something of a tour of its remarkable setting. Meanwhile, the art on view defines the museum as foremost an exceptional if idiosyncratic picture gallery assembled by someone with a discerning and independent eye for paintings.”