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