About Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
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. We explore the unfolding story of America by actively collecting, exhibiting, interpreting, and preserving outstanding American art. Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 as a non-profit charitable organization by arts patron and chair of the museums board of directors, Alice Walton. Since opening to the public on 11-11-11, the museum has welcomed more than 5 million visitors and garnered 15,000 membership households. Some 280,000 school children have participated in the Willard and Pat Walker School Visit program, which provides educational experiences for school groups at no cost.
Crystal Bridges takes its name from a nearby natural spring and the bridge construction incorporated in the building, designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. A series of pavilions nestled around two spring-fed ponds house the galleries and amenities such as a restaurant, museum store designed by architect Marlon Blackwell, and a library featuring more than 50,000 volumes of art reference material. In addition to the museums architecture, a Usonian house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright was preserved, acquired, and moved to the museum grounds in 2015, and a rare Buckminster Fullers Flys Eye Dome was installed in 2017, both providing access to American architectural masterworks in a natural setting.
Sculpture and walking trails link the museum’s 120-acre park to downtown Bentonville, Arkansas. A new entrance, elevator tower, and pedestrian bridge was added to the north side of the building in 2017, increasing access to the museums north lawn and newly enhanced North Forest Trail. More than 600,000 visitors a year utilize the museums five miles of walking trails.
Crystal Bridges permanent collection spans five centuries of American artworks from early American to the present, and is always free to view. Crystal Bridges is committed to telling broad and inclusive stories by acquiring and showcasing the highest quality works by artists underrepresented in art history and conventional museum frameworks. Works such as Asher B. Durands Kindred Spirits, Gilbert Stuarts George Washington, and Georgia OKeeffes Jimson Weed are displayed alongside contemporary artists such as Kerry James Marshall, Maya Lin, Fritz Scholder, Jaune Quick-To-See-Smith, Felix Gonzales-Torres, and Amy Sherald represent some of the finest achievements in American art. The collection continues to grow, while the museum also offers temporary exhibitions that complement the collection and can also reveal arts connections to equality and justice.
Crystal Bridges provides year-round programming for all ages. In 2019, more than 800 public programs and events were offered, including lectures, performances, classes, and continuing education for K-12 teachers. Crystal Bridges stays connected online with the full collection available via eMuseum, an award-winning app, a podcast called Museum Way, all available for free, and many of the museums lectures such as the Distinguished Speaker Series are on Crystal Bridges YouTube channel. An online-learning initiative provides opportunities for students and teachers with arts-based courses, as well as SmartHistory with arts history videos and essays. Crystal Bridges also offers two research fellowship programs. The Tyson Scholars in American Art program encourages and supports full-time scholarship that seeks to expand boundaries and traditional categories of investigation into American art and visual culture. The Reese Teacher Fellowship provides for research into the development of interdisciplinary connections between American art and core curriculum subjects of language arts, history, social studies, and the sciences. In addition, Crystal Bridges administers the awarding of the Don Tyson Prize, an unprecedented award recognizing significant achievements in the field of American art.
About the Momentary
The Momentary is a new contemporary art space that opened to the public on February 22, 2020, in downtown Bentonville, Arkansas. A satellite to Crystal Bridges, the Momentary presents visual, performing, and culinary arts. The mission of the Momentary is to champion contemporary arts role in everyday life and explore the unfolding story of contemporary American arts in an international context by actively commissioning and exhibiting outstanding works that explore new ideas and inspire action. The Momentary was founded by the Walton family, based on the vision of Tom, Olivia, and Steuart Walton. The Walton Family Foundation is supporting this project as a way to enhance the quality of life in Northwest Arkansas. The Momentary welcomes all with free general admission. Additional offerings include an artist-in-residence program, culinary experiences including an Onyx Coffee Lab, indoor and outdoor gathering spaces, an outdoor festival space, and a gift store. For more information, visit theMomentary.org. The Momentary is located at 507 SE E Street, Bentonville, Arkansas 72712.