Walton's Art Bridges Earns Praise from Wall Street Journal Critic


Alice Walton, founder of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and Art Bridges
Alice Walton, founder of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and Art Bridges
Paintings in the collection of the newly formed nonprofit Art Bridges include “Lost Boys: AKA BB,” by artist Kerry James Marshall.
Paintings in the collection of the newly formed nonprofit Art Bridges include “Lost Boys: AKA BB,” by artist Kerry James Marshall.
Paintings in the collection of the newly formed nonprofit Art Bridges include “Child’s Companions” by Arshile Gorky.
Paintings in the collection of the newly formed nonprofit Art Bridges include “Child’s Companions” by Arshile Gorky.
Paintings in the collection of the newly formed nonprofit Art Bridges include “In Exaltation of Flowers: Petunia, Caladium, Budaya,” by Edward Jean Steichen.
Paintings in the collection of the newly formed nonprofit Art Bridges include “In Exaltation of Flowers: Petunia, Caladium, Budaya,” by Edward Jean Steichen.

Terry Teachout, drama critic for the Wall Street Journal, had kind words last week for Art Bridges, an organization founded by Alice Walton and written about in these pages, and for the Terra Foundation for American Art.

“These two groups have teamed up on a new initiative intended to encourage regional art museums to share their collections — one that in time might also prove to have the additionally desirable effect of helping to get masterpieces out of storage and put them to better use,” Teachout wrote.

Teachout described how, growing up in a small town in southeast Missouri, he never saw “any actual paintings of significance” until a college trip to New York in 1975. Visiting the Museum of Modern Art, he “was stunned beyond words by my first viewings of Picasso’s “Three Musicians” and a Monet water-lily painting. Having finally gotten to see great art in person, I promptly became the passionate museum- and gallery-goer that I am today.”

That probably would make Walton, founder of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, happy. “Our country’s significant works of art should be available for all to see and enjoy,” Walton said in September 2017, when she announced the formation of Art Bridges. “Outstanding artworks are in museum vaults and private collections; let’s make that art available to everyone, and provide a way to experience these cultural treasures.”