Walton Family Foundation Announces Plans to Build Major Museum Featuring American Art

May 13, 2005, 01:00 ET from Walton Family Foundation

    BENTONVILLE, Ark., May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Walton Family Foundation
 today announced it has purchased the historic American work of art, "Kindred
 Spirits," and will permanently house Asher B. Durand's masterwork in a major
 new art museum to be built in Bentonville, Arkansas.
     The museum, "Crystal Bridges," takes its name from an inspired
 glass-and-wood design that traverses a local stream.  Designed by Boston-based
 architect Moshe Safdie, the museum is expected to open in May 2009 and will
 present perspectives on the flow of America's history and heritage through the
 eyes of the nation's most influential artists.
     The museum will house a permanent collection of masterworks from American
 artists.  In addition, temporary exhibitions drawn from national institutions
 will be displayed in the museum.  The permanent collection, assembled by Alice
 Walton and the Walton Family Foundation, will be composed of paintings and
 sculptures by American artists from the Revolutionary period through the
 modern era.
     "We hope this museum will build appreciation for America's artistic
 heritage," said Ms. Walton.  "We are delighted to have purchased 'Kindred
 Spirits,' which will make an enormous contribution to the museum's stature."
     Calling the painting "a national treasure," Ms. Walton said "Kindred
 Spirits" will be lent to major national museums around the country. In
 recognition of its special significance to New York, she added that the
 Foundation intends to work with museums in New York City to ensure that it
 continues to be shown there in the future. In addition to other expected
 exhibitions in New York, there will be no change in the Brooklyn Museum's
 scheduled exhibition, "Kindred Spirits: Asher B. Durand and the American
 Landscape" which is scheduled from March-June 2007.
     In addition to "Kindred Spirits," the museum's permanent collection will
 include numerous notable paintings, including:  portraitist Charles Willson
 Peale's 18th century painting of a confident George Washington completed near
 the end of the Revolutionary War.  Other artists and works represented include
 Charles Bird King's early 19th century portraits of American Indian leaders;
 Winslow Homer's depictions of the interplay between man and nature; Eastman
 Johnson's insights into rural 19th century America; and Edward Hopper's
 interpretations of urban reality.
     "I expect Crystal Bridges to become a major museum of American art and to
 be a substantial resource for the American public," said Ms. Walton.

SOURCE Walton Family Foundation