Crystal Bridges Museum to House 'Big-Time' Book Collection

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 29, 2010 12:00 am  

Ed Clifford, president and CEO of the Bentonville/Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce, says the chamber is getting calls and e-mails "from all over the world" asking for the opening date of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, which, he hastens to add, "we don't have."

Clifford tells Whispers the callers want to know about accommodations in the area, apparently more than ready to make travel arrangements for when the Alice Walton-led project does open. And, he says, the Bentonville museum will have the largest art literature collection in the world: 47,000 volumes. "It's big time."


Clifford goes so far as to speculate that the museum will eventually eclipse Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in, if not importance, then renown. "Up until Alice presented us with a different vision, we were known as where the world came to do business," he says. "I expect that when Crystal Bridges opens and we begin to experience the interest that we will - both in this country and internationally - that we will become the home of Crystal Bridges and, oh, by the way, Wal-Mart has an office there."

"Institutions have a way doing that, I think, creating an environment around themselves that corporations don't. I'm not wishing anything bad on Wal-Mart, but corporate performance and corporate faces change over the years, but an institution's doesn't."



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