Walton sets goal for museum

By Rich Polikoff

Subscriber onlyBENTONVILLE — The goal for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is not to transform Bentonville, or Northwest Arkansas, or even America. It’s to transform the world, Alice Walton told a group of business students in a lecture Monday.Continue reading...

Crystal Bridges Grand Opening

Main Lobby

The main lobby, the museum's primary entryway, is the starting point for visiting the galleries. One side opens to a sculpture courtyard and the entrance to the Museum Store. The other opens to to the glass-walled bridge housing Eleven, the museum's restaurant.

Gallery: Colonial through 1860

Includes paintings from the Colonial era through 1860 including colonial portraiture, genre painting, and Hudson River School landscapes, such as Charles Willson Peale's George Washington and Asher Brown Durand's Kindred Spirits.

Gallery: 1865-1900

Includes paintings of Realism, Impressionism, Tonalism, and the Aesthetic Movement from 1865 to 1900, such as William Merritt Chase's Worthington Whittredge, John Singer Sargent's Robert Louis Stevenson and His Wife, and Maria Oakey Dewing's Rose Garden.


This gallery will feature small, changing exhibitions.

Gallery: 1900-1945

Includes paintings from the Ashcan School to American modernism, 1900 to 1945, such as George Wesley Bellows' Excavation at Night, Norman Rockwell's Rosie the Riveter and Charles Sheeler's Amoskeag Mills #2.

Gallery: Post-World War II

Includes paintings from Post-World War II art movements, such as: abstract expressionism, pop art, minimalism and new American realism. Examples include Roy Lichtenstein's Standing Explosion (Red), Andy Warhol's Dolly Parton and Kerry James Marshall's Our Town.


Eleven, the museum's restaurant, is in a glass-enclosed bridge overlooking the ponds. Executive Chef Jacob Harr will serve low Midwest and high South cuisine for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. The restaurant will form relationships with local farmers and businesses.


Guests at the museum's library can use the library's reference collection, which has more than 50,000 titles, research special collections and use computers. The library will also have displays of rare collections.

Community Showcase

"Sharing Our Story: Daily Life in Northwest Arkansas" showcases the permanent collections of regional museums. Six partner museums selected objects from their collections that chronicle daily life throughout different periods of the region's history.

Great Hall

The Great Hall, featuring glass walls and a sweeping domed roof with pinewood beam, is surrounded on three sides by the museum's upper pond. It has views of the restaurant and surrounding landscape.

Education Rooms

Include art studios, classrooms, and a hands-on interactive gallery.

Changing Exhibitions

These exhibitions will include traveling exhibitions organized by other institutions, as well as highlighting themes, artists, and periods from the museum's collection.

South Lobby

The south lobby provides access to the museum from the Art Trail, a sculpture path that links to Crystal Bridges Trail, part of the Bentonville trails system.

Museum Store

The Museum Store - designed by Arkansas architect Marlon Blackwell - is across from the museum's main lobby. It will offer a range of items including educational toys, gifts, books, and reproductions of many of the most popular works in the Museum collection.

Parking Garage

The museum offers free parking in a parking garage. An elevator will take visitors from the parking area to the museum.

Don Bacigalupi

Don Bacigalupi, executive director of Crystal Bridges, discusses the museum.

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