Alice Walton Honored by Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Alice Walton, founder of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, will be honored on Tuesday in New York with the Archives of American Art Medal.

Also receiving the medal is James Turrell, an artist whose works include "Skyspace," an art installation on the grounds of the Bentonville museum. In addition, the archives is honoring art historian Richard J. Powell with the Lawrence A. Fleischman Award for Scholarly Excellence in the Field of American Art History.

The Archives of American Art, repository of papers and primary records linked to the visual arts in the United States, is part of the Smithsonian Institution. The archives is making the rewards during its annual benefit in New York.

"The Archives of American Art Medal, honoring distinguished members of the American art community, is often awarded to an artist as well as a philanthropist," the archives said in a news release. 

Last year's recipients of the medal were Richard Serra, an American sculptor, and Melva Bucksbaum and her husband, Raymond Learsy, philanthropists and noted art collectors.

"We honor these three distinguished individuals not only for their personal contributions, which are extraordinary in their own right, but also because their work dovetails with ours in its quest to spark discovery and bring depth and nuance to the visual arts in America," Kate Haw, director of the Archives of American Art, said in Monday's release regarding Walton, Turrell and Powell.

In addition to her work with Crystal Bridges, Walton is a member of the board of the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, and is a member of the Trustees' Council of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Turrell, of Flagstaff, Ariz., is the recipient of a number of awards, including Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowships.

Richard J. Powell is the John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art and Art History at Duke University, where he has taught since 1989. He has written extensively on art.