New York Times on Alice Walton and Crystal Bridges

The New York Times talked to Alice Walton for a June 15 story on her Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, under contruction now in Bentonville. The full story is available here.

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Crystal Bridges from the Air
Image by Eagle Eye Aerial Photography

Crystal Bridges in April 2010.

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Crystal Bridges from the Air II
Image by Eagle Eye Aerial Photography

Crystal Bridges in April 2011.

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Scott Eccleston and Yield at Crystal Bridges
Image by Serenah McKay

Scott Eccleston, director of grounds and trails at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, showed off the newly acquired sculpture by Roxie Payne on May 4. Titled "Yield," the 47-foot treelike form is made of stainless steel.

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Yield by Roxie Payne at Crystal Bridges
Image by Serenah McKay

Roxie Payne's sculpture,"Yield," is 47-feet tall and made of stainless steel. It stands near the main entrance of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

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Foot Bridge at Crystal Bridges
Image by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

A foot bridge on the south end of Building 8 will give guests access to trails from parking area at Crystal Bridges.

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Columbia Plane Tree at Crystal Bridges
Image by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

A newly planted Columbia Plane Tree stands in front of the walkway that will lead guests from Building 2 gallery to Building 3 gallery at Crystal Bridges.

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Skylights at Crystal Bridges
Image by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Another view of the skylights and windows at Crystal Bridges' Building 5.

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Skylights at Crystal Bridges
Image by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows will allow natural light into the gallery in Building 5 at Crystal Bridges.

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Copper Roofs at Crystal Bridges
Image by Serenah McKay

The buildings at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will have copper-clad rooftops. Over time, the copper will turn brown and blend in with the surrounding woodlands.

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The Great Hall at Crystal Bridges
Image by Serenah McKay

The Great Hall takes shape at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, seen here on May 4. The completed building will be surrounded by a pond and appear to be floating on the water.

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Crystal Bridges Sneak Peek 6

"Cupid and Psyche," 1808 oil on canvas painting by Benjamin West, acquired by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

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Crystal Bridges Sneak Peek 5

On Sept. 15, 2010, three new works were introduced into the museum's permanent collection, including a 1985 Andy Warhol titled "Dolly Parton," a 42-inch by 42-inch paint and silk screen ink on canvas.

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Crystal Bridges Sneak Peek 6

"Standing Explosion (Red)," 1966 porcelain enamel on steel sculpture by Roy Lichtenstein, acquired by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

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Crystal Bridges Sneak Peek 4
Image by Worth Sparkman

Cystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville took visitors on a sneak peek tour of construction on Sept. 15, 2010. In 2007, the museum said it expected to attract 250,000 people per year to its turnstiles, including locals.

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Crystal Bridges Sneak Peek 3
Image by Worth Sparkman

"It's a jewel," Bentonville Mayor Bob McCaslin said of Cystal Bridges Museum during the Sept. 15, 2010 sneak peek. Contractors are taking care to minimize the impact on the 100-acre site. Concrete is produced on the grounds and the design allows for only six feet of space between the buildings and the natural forestation.

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Crystal Bridges Sneak Peek 2
Image by Worth Sparkman

Virginian Germann, director ofCrystal Bridges' museum relations, said that as of Sept. 15, 2010, 50,000 cubic yards of architectural concrete had been poured in the construction process of the museum.

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Crystal Bridges Sneak Peek 1
Image by Worth Sparkman

Matt Disheroon, left, general manager of the Homewood Suites in Rogers, and Joe Murfin, vice president of marketing for Daisy Outdoor Products, look over the Crystal Bridges site during the Sept. 15, 2010 sneak peek.

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The era of the world-class museum built by a single philanthropist in the tradition of Isabella Stewart Gardner, John Pierpont Morgan Jr. and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney may seem to have passed, but Alice L. Walton is bringing it back with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville. So says Carol Vogel in the June 16 New York Times.

In a recent interview at Town Branch, her family home in Bentonville, Walton said she wanted to turn Bentonville into an international destination for art lovers when the museum opens Nov. 11. 

 “For years I’ve been thinking about what we could do as a family that could really make a difference in this part of the world,” said Walton, 61. “I thought this is something we desperately need, and what a difference it would have made were it here when I was growing up.”

The 201,000-square-foot museum, designed by Boston architect Moshe Safdie for a site around two ponds on 120 acres of former Walton family land, is amed for nearby Crystal Spring. It will display top-flight works by American masters from the colonial era to the present, with the largest concentrations coming from the 19th and 20th centuries. 

To read the full New York Times story click here (registration required).