Wal-Mart's Art Museum Facing Delays?
The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas may not be finished as quickly as was originally planned. The museum is being designed to house one of the world's greatest collections of American art, the one amassed by Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton. Walton has spent the last few years snapping up treasures by American artists including paying a record price for the 1849 Asher B. Durand work "Kindred Spirits." But the museum, which was slated to open in 2010 may not be ready for until 2011 or beyond. In his recent state of the city address, Bentonville mayor Bob McCaslin referred to the museum as opening in 2011. But the AP also quotes a subcontractor which has said that their job will run through 2011 which could mean it may be an even longer wait. The museum should have a clearer idea of when the opening date may be sometime in the coming months.
Whenever it is completed it will be an impressive destination. The museum design by architect Moshe Safdie is rendered in glass and light wood and is arranged around two ponds at the center of the compound which are spanned by bridges. The building is set on around 100 acres of Ozarks forest, donated by the Walton family. Visitors will follow a lane through the woods to a knoll that overlooks the pavilions. From the knoll, glass elevators take visitors to a courtyard with a glass lobby that has a view of the water. The museum will offer 34,000 square feet of exhibition space as well as a cafe, performance hall, library and research center. Crystal Bridges is expected to bring in 250,000 visitors a year once it opens.
Gallery: Crystal Bridges Museum