Located in the heart of the country in Bentonville, Arkansas, Crystal Bridges explores the unfolding history of America by collecting and exhibiting outstanding works of art that illuminate our artistic heritage and enrich our understanding and appreciation of our nation and ourselves.
With 120 acres of native Ozark forest, Crystal Bridges’ grounds invite visitors to enjoy the natural environment as a continuation of their museum experience. The Museum’s distinctive architecture immerses visitors in the landscape, while three miles of nature trails encourage exploration and reflection.
Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005
by the Walton Family Foundation as a nonprofit charitable organization for all
to enjoy and is known as the Art Museum Walmart Money Built. Philanthropist and
arts patron Alice Walton chairs the Museum’s board of directors. The building
was designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie and opened to the public
on November 11, 2011.
Crystal Bridges, located in the
middle of the Ozarks, is surrounded by 120 acres of forests, garden sculpture
and walking trails and is named for Crystal Creek, which feed the ponds around
the museum. Consisting of eight buildings nestled in a wooded area across a
flowing creek, is a work of art in itself. A series of pavilions nestled around
two spring-fed ponds house galleries, meeting and classroom spaces, and a
large, glass-enclosed gathering hall. Guest amenities include a restaurant on a
glass-enclosed bridge overlooking the ponds, a Museum Store designed by
architect Marlon Blackwell, and a library featuring more than 50,000 volumes of
art reference material. Sculpture and walking trails link the Museum's 120-acre
park to downtown Bentonville, Arkansas.
Crystal Bridges’ permanent
collection spans five centuries of American masterworks ranging from the
Colonial era to the current day. Included within the collection are iconic
images such as Asher B. Durand’s Kindred Spirits, Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter, and Andy Warhol’s
Coca-Cola — each reflecting a distinct moment in American artistic
evolution—as well as major works by modern and contemporary American artists,
including Georgia O’Keeffe, John Baldessari, and James Turrell. The permanent
collection, which continues to grow through a strategic acquisition plan, is on
view year-round and is enhanced by an array of temporary exhibitions.
Crystal Bridges provides year-round
programming for all ages, including lectures, performances, classes, and
continuing education for K-12 teachers. More than 45,000 schoolchildren visit
the Museum each year as part of the Willard and Pat Walker School Visit
Program, which offers schools reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses
associated with a school field trip, including transportation costs, substitute
teachers, and lunch. A new initiative to develop high-quality distance learning
opportunities for students and teachers is currently under way.
An award-winning app, available free
for both Apple and Android devices, features audio tours of current and past
exhibitions, and many of the Museum’s lectures and gallery talks are available
in Crystal Bridges’ iTunes U site.
The mission of Crystal Bridges
Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a
setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature.
There is NO COST to view the
Museum’s permanent collection, which is on view year- round. General admission
to Crystal Bridges is sponsored by Walmart.