Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is a museum of American art in Bentonville founded by Alice Walton and designed by Moshe Safdie. It officially opened Nov. 11, 2011 to worldwide acclaim. Admission is free.
Walton, the daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, spearheaded the effort to establish a world-class museum in Bentonville of which the Walton Family Foundation played a role. The museum's glass and wood design by architect Safdie of Boston and engineer Buro Happold of New York features a series of pavilions nestled around two creek-fed ponds.
The complex was constructed by a joint venture of Linbeck Group of Houston and Nabholz Construction of Conway. It includes 217,000 SF of galleries as well as meeting and classroom space, a library, a full-service restaurant and many more amenities.
Within walking distance of downtown Bentonville, the museum grounds include outdoor areas for concerts and public events as well as extensive nature trails. It employs about 160 people.
In June 2012 Crystal Bridges announced plans to show one of 25 known existing copies of the printed broadside version of the Declaration of Independence. Other documents included in the exhibition are:
• Two printed newspaper accounts from 1776
• A handwritten letter from King George III to his generals
• A printed edition of the Virginia Bill of Rights
• An American broadside description of the Battle of Bunker Hill
• The Franklin printing of the Treaty of Paris which ended the war between England and the United States
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