Crystal Bridges Gets $10M From Wayne Garrison Family

Crystal Bridges Gets $10M From Wayne Garrison Family
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (File art) (Michael Pirnique)

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has received a $10 million gift from the Pamela and Wayne Garrison Family Foundation, and its newly renovated lobby area will bear the foundation’s name.

Wayne Garrison is a former chairman of J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. in Lowell.

His family’s gift comes as the museum plans to double its footprint in Bentonville by adding 100,000 SF, an expansion announced in April. Construction is set to begin in early 2022 and finish in 2024.

The Garrisons’ gift will support “family experiences” that are “designed to explore art, spark imagination, and celebrate joy among multigenerational families” with certain programs and interactive installations that appeal to all ages, the museum said. 

“This generous gift from Wayne, Pam, and Alexandra embraces Crystal Bridges mission of welcoming all — and especially welcoming families to have fun together,” said Alice Walton, the Walmart heiress who built the museum. “It’s fitting that the lobby is named for this family who cares deeply about the positive role of the museum in our community.”

“We are thrilled thinking about the number of families that will benefit from these kinds of experiences, and we know that Crystal Bridges, which has been offering great family experiences for a decade, will continue to spark imagination and exploration through art in creative ways,” said Alexandra Garrison Neville. “We look forward to watching families have life-changing experiences at Crystal Bridges.” 

The museum’s lobby has already been expanded to include a former courtyard; both areas have been encased in a glass dome to provide shade.

Doors and glass windows were removed from the front of the Museum Store to make the lobby more open and inviting; an information wall featuring a map of Crystal Bridges, information screens, brochures and coloring pages was added; and new, modern furniture and kiosks were installed. Visitors also now have a path from the lobby to the elevators that offers easier access to the Crystal Bridges Library.

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