Time Names Alice Walton to 100 Most Influential People List

Time magazine has named Alice Walton to its 2012 list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Walton, founder of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, is the daughter of another founder of renown, Sam Walton, who founded Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in 1962. Wal-Mart, the largest corporation in the world, is also based in Bentonville.

Time's listing for Alice Walton puts her under the heading of "Art Collector." Of Walton, the magazine writes:

As a rule, major museums emerge in major cities, places where lots of people and lots of money converge. Alice Walton, 62, didn't have to care about that rule. As one of the wealthiest women in the world, the daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton could put her new museum wherever she pleased. Where she pleased was Bentonville, Ark., the town where she grew up. ...

With Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, she has placed a daring bet that a small town can become a big art-world destination. We're betting she's right.

The museum issued a news release Wednesday noting the honor and providing responses from Walton and Don Bacigalupi, the executive director of the museum, which opened Nov. 11 amid much fanfare.

"I am sincerely honored to be selected for this recognition. Most humbling, however, is the overwhelming response from our guests who have been inspired by the Crystal Bridges experience," Walton said.

"The impact of Crystal Bridges has just begun to be felt in Arkansas and in our nation. It is wonderful and appropriate that Alice Walton receive this mention in recognition of her vision and ability to transform our views of American art, culture and history," Bacigalupi said.

Bacigalupi recently told state officials that the museum had had 240,000 visitors since its opening, far exceeding predictions.

The full list can be found here.