Monday, June 27, 2011

Will Crystal Bridges Become the Walmart of American Art Museums?

When Walmart comes to your town, there are always two different reactions: “No! They’ll kill all the small businesses!” Or “Yes! Big selection at low prices!” A similar phenomenon is taking place in the world of American art museums as all eyes turn toward Bentonville, Arkansas, where the doors of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will open this November. The brainchild of Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton and the third richest woman in the world (her sister-in-law Christy is number one), Crystal Bridges both beckons art pilgrims to a new experience and inspires dread in those who see it as a sign of the apocalypse of art in America. After reading Rebecca Mead’s New Yorker profile of Alice Walton and her museum, “Alice’s Wonderland,” it’s only natural to ask if Crystal Bridges will become, for good and/or ill, the Walmart of American art museums. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Will Crystal Bridges Become the Walmart of American Art Museums?"


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