We recently had the opportunity to visit the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. It was founded by Alice Walton and designed by Moshe Safdie, who has created some of the most remarkable architectural structures in the world. Ms. Walton spent millions and millions and millions of dollars creating one of the finest Museums in the country. The Museum opened in 2011 and offers FREE ADMISSION!
Actually it is much more than just a Museum as it is really a “Museum Campus” with hiking trails and paths plus a sculptor garden outside. It has space for public functions as well as concerts. The Museum’s quality and it’s range and depth has placed it as one of the finest Museums of Art in the United States.
Examples of artists are: Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, John LaFarge, Norman Rockwell, Mary McCleary, plus Charles Wilson Peale’s portrait of George Washington in addition to many more. Sculptor works are all over both inside the Museum as well as outside.
They have special exhibits from time to time so if you live near the Museum one needs to go back often. We know people in the Midwest that drive several hundred miles to visit the Museum several times a year.
This is truly a remarkable Museum and you really need to spend the entire day there. On site is a fabulous restaurant with not only interesting cuisine but a view of the scenic beauty to die for. The restaurant is named Eleven since the Museum officially opened on 11/11/11.
A few years ago they purchased a Frank Lloyd Wright house on the east coast and had it dismantled piece by piece and had it shipped to the Museum site and had it completely restored to perfection. It is of course on display for everyone to take a tour of. Truly incredible how that feat was accomplished but they did it. Taking a tour of the interior of a Frank Lloyd Wright house is something that one seldom gets to do.
Their website is https://crystalbridges.org/. Their hours are Saturday and Sunday: 10 AM to 6 PM, Monday: 11 AM to 6 PM, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 11 AM to 9 PM. Their address is 600 Museum Way in Bentonville, Arkansas and you can call to get information at 479.418.5700. Over 3 Million visitors have been to the Museum since it opened and we can see why. People drive from all over the Midwest to visit this Museum as well as people flying in from coast to coast.
We want to thank Alice Walton for many things, but especially for creating this absolutely remarkable Museum and making it free to the public. We need more people like her in the world. We also want to thank Beth Bobbitt, Director of Public Relations for her generous and professional courtesy to us during our visit. In all of our travels from coast to coast we have never seen such hospitality, friendliness and professionalism as the staff and docents of this Museum.
TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married).