Crystal Bridges Museum is the crown jewel of Bentonville and all of Northwest Arkansas. The Museum offers visitors the experience of the unfolding story of America by actively collecting, exhibiting, interpreting, and preserving outstanding works that illuminate our heritage and artistic possibilities.
The exhibits, architecture, trails and grounds are all astounding.
World-renowned Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art was founded largely through the efforts and financial support of Alice Walton, the only daughter of Sam and Helen Walton. This amazing museum and stunning grounds occupies 120 acres of beautiful, wooded Ozarks scenery enhanced by huge, awe inspiring sculptures, streams, ponds and landscaped walking and multi-use trails.
With an endowment of $1.2 billion by the Walton Family Foundation, Crystal Bridges is recognized as one of the richest museums in the country. Since opening in 2011, more than one million people have seen its exhibits. It comes as no surprise that it is listed among the top museums worldwide.
Housing art from the colonial era to the present, no visitor to the city should leave without seeing this spectacular world-class museum. Exhibits include masterworks by Georgia O’keeffe, Norman Rockwell and Andy Warhal, to name but a very few.
In addition to the permanent collection, the museum offers many outstanding events, touring exhibitions and temporary exhibits throughout the year. The museum, through its many art related events and classes, is central to the lives of the people of Northwest Arkansas.
Schools around the area schedule outings to the museum for art classes, giving many children an opportunity to see magnificent art for the first time. For many, it is the highlight of the school year.
Crystal Bridges Frank Lloyd Wright
Architecture buffs will love the opportunity to tour the Bachman-Wilson house, a Frank Lloyd Wright designed “Usonian” house, which has been carefully reconstructed on the grounds. Self guided tours are free, but do require a ticket. Guided tours are fee based, and also require a ticket.
The museum structure is stunningly beautiful, and is highly regarded around the globe as a superb architectural accomplishment. Designed by Moshe Safdie, the museum’s glass-and-wood design, with its gently curving pavilions, is curled around two spring-fed ponds.
Crystal Bridges Walking Trail
The trails and grounds around Crystal Bridges are also free for the public to enjoy. Grand sculptures and other astonishing art creations adorn the paths and ponds around the museum. Be sure to walk the trails, it is well worth the effort.
Admission to the permanent exhibition is free to all and is sponsored by Walmart. Admission fees apply for temporary exhibitions.
Eleven at Crystal Bridges
Centrally located within the museum and featuring High South and home cooking is Eleven, a chef-driven restaurant set in a wondrous venue. Plan to have a drink or dine at Eleven, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
Expansion plans are now underway, and will increase the size of the museum complex by 50%, adding almost 100,000 sq. ft. to the existing 200,000 sq. ft. The new addition will make room for more exhibits, outreach and educational initiatives, cultural programs and community activities.
Also under construction on the museum’s diversified complex is the Whole Health Institute, a 75,000 sq. ft. building devoted to creating a space for a transformative approach to health and wellbeing available to all.