Sunday, May 3, 2015

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art - Bentonville, Arkansas - 4/16/2015

It was a short drive from Branson to Bentonville, Arkansas.  Bentonville is the home of Walmart and Walmart dominates the town with offices and warehouses all over the city.  There is nothing pretty about the Walmart operation in Bentonville.  Fortunately for Bentonville, Walmart has made amends to some extent by by adding a thing of beauty to provide balance.  That thing is the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

The museum is located not far from some of the Walmart warehouses and as you drive towards it, you wonder where it is and why did they locate it in an industrial part of town.  When you arrive at the entrance and begin the drive to the parking lots, you realize that the museum is surrounded by a heavily wooded park that seems to be in a small ravine.  Once at the museum, the outside world disappears and you are surrounded by beautiful trees and the equally beautiful architecture of the museum.  The buildings on the campus are unlike any others you have ever seen.

It isn't accurate to say that Walmart was responsible for the museum although Walmart wealth certainly is.  The museum, founded by Alice Walton and designed by Moshe Safdie, officially opened on 11 November 2011. It offers free public admission.  To learn more about the museum go to

The buildings surround a lake and except for the roofs are made of glass.  Two opposing ends of the buildings are suspended above the lake.....thus the Crystal Bridges name.

As you enter and pass through the ticketing area, you first see the museum's restaurant.  They serve gourmet style lunches at a reasonable price.  We ate there and the food was very good.

The museum's displays start with 1700's vintage art and move chronologically up to present day works.  The wood ceiling beams dominate the structure and are magnificent.

Edel and Sigrid checking out the portraits.

One of my favorites.

Sigrid and I both really like Georgia O'Keeffe's work.

As you move between floors, the stair wells are decorated on the ceilings with colored strands of string making it look like a rainbow.


The 1940's to Now section of the museum.

No, its not a real person.....its art.  

You can see some of the fish that live in the lake.

What a great day.....much more than we expected.  We are now off to Little Rock, Arkansas to see the Clinton Presidential Library.

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