Crystal Bridges Leaps from Idea to Reality
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is truly a treat and has something to offer everyone. It is the brainchild of Alice Walton, daughter of Sam Walton, creator of the hugely successful retail giant Walmart. Alice Walton wanted to share the pleasures of the art world with the residents of her home state, Arkansas. She envisioned a place where the people of this region had easy access to great works of art. The project broke ground in 2006 and opened in 2011.
Walton already had an extensive personal art collection but with the inception of this project she began to turn the heads of the art community by purchasing major works of art, i.e., Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell, Georgia O’Keefe, etc. The collection spans five centuries of American masters from Colonial to current day.
Community Excitement for Crystal Bridges
Locally the community applauded the project with much enthusiasm. A construction overlook was built so locals could watch as the complex structures were built. It opened November 2011 to an excited public that had watched it come to fruition.
World-Class Architect for Crystal Bridges
Moshe Safdie, a world renowned Israel Architect, was selected as the architect for Crystal Bridges. He is known for his genius in blending nature and structure seamlessly. Great care was used to re-route the natural springs while construction was underway. Wide expansive windows allow you to look out on the natural ponds from all parts of the Museum, reminding you of the beauty of the Ozark Mountains.
A Day or Hour at Crystal Bridges
We suggest our guests that are staying with us in Eureka Springs take a day to drive to Crystal Bridges, visit the museum and have lunch in the café. Take the time walk some of the trails in the woods. This is the Ozark landscape that Alice Walton and her brothers played in as children. Once on the trails the museum disappears from view and you are immersed in the lush landscape that has been planted with more than 250,000 native plants. Over 16,000 trees have been planted to make seasonal statements such as the pink dogwood in the spring and the breathtaking red maples in the fall.
There is no charge to visit the museum’s permanent collection. It is open six days a week (closed Tuesdays). The fees for the traveling exhibits are very nominal. The exhibit that is creating quite a sensation now is Chihuly: In the Forest which will be on display until November 13,2017. We will talk about this Chihuly in another future blog.