Friday, August 30, 2013

The Art of Wal-Mart

Arkansas, the land of art.

Not just folk art.  But fine art, the museum quality art of people such as Arthur Dove, Gilbert Stuart, John Singleton Copley, Asher Durand, Thomas Cole, and others.  And, it is FREE.

In the Northwest Arkansas city of Bentonville, where the giant chain Wal-Mart got its start, the family of the late Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton opened a world class art museum called Crystal Bridges a couple of years ago.  It is sponsored by the Walton family - so, when you shop at Wal-Mart, think of this place as your reward.

It is worth seeing.  You can get right up close, and sketch if you want.  It is a dream for those who love to study art.  I am not any kind of art expert, but I enjoyed the little bit of the exhibit I saw.

We visited briefly this evening, but were just slightly overwhelmed.  Yes, a blogger who grew up in New York City, overwhelmed by an art museum.

Can you imagine retiring in this area, and having something like this in your backyard?

The museum is nestled into a ravine cut by Crystal Spring (hence, the name) with the spring in the middle.

 It really fools you - you think the building is on multiple levels, but (we were assured by a docent) it is only due to the topography.
A Friday concert being set up, near the spring.
One of the many outdoor sculptures (it was in the 90's, and we just didn't have the stamina after a full day of sightseeing to explore the extensive grounds.)  But tomorrow, we hope to explore some of the trails.

This is one of the art works I enjoyed.  It is called "Winter Scene in Brooklyn" by Francis Guy.  Photography (without flash) is permitted and I hope it is OK to post this.  This scene is from the early 1800's and I loved the scene.

There are even two George Washington paintings by Gilbert Stuart, the man who created the portrait that is on the American one dollar bill.

Arkansas - land of surprises.  The rural Benton County I remembered from 27years ago has grown up.

Tomorrow is my last day in Arkansas.  I will return with a lot of memories.


  1. If I ever travel to Arkansas I'll have to check it out! I grew up across the river from Washington DC so we went to the National Gallery of Art fairly often, and occasionally to the other museums.

  2. Thanks for showing me around the area. The outdoor sculpture staggered me. Are there no dead trees in the area? We've got one in the fields within viewing distance from my window that looks similar to that one. I guess the real one will rot long before the sculpture though.

  3. I love galleries that are inside and out. You would love the Burrell in Glasgow. It is one of the greatest collections by a single person (Sir William Burrell) and includes work by Rodin, Cezanne as well as ancient civilisations and important Chinese and Isalmic art and stained glass. The building is stunning and set in the beautiful woodlands of Pollok Park. Best of all it's free to visit :)

  4. I love the building! I have to admit that I'm not a huge fans of art galleries though!


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