The heiress daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton is bringing art to Middle America by opening a new museum featuring an immense collection of American art. The 217,000-square-foot Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is located in the small town of Bentonville in northwest Arkansas, which is the headquarters of Wal-Mart. Alice Walton, the 62-year-old billionaire heiress splits her time between Bentonville and her Texas ranch.
I saw a blurb on the opening of this museum on a TV show, and all of a sudden I saw what to me seemed to be a portrait in the style of Gilbert Stuart in the background! I immediately wrote the museum, to see if I had actually seen a Stuart! I received a response:
Thank you for your interest in Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Gilbert Stuart’s William Smith, ca. 1801 – 1802 is part of our permanent collection. It is located in our Colonial Gallery.
~see the Stuart portrait of Dr. William Smith's daughter and read about Dr. Smith, by clicking here.
This portrait sold recently at auction at Sotheby's; the estimate for the portrait was between 800,000 - 1,200,000 USD.
The museum sounds lovely:
"Surrounded by 120 acres of forests and gardens, Crystal Bridges offers a revitalizing environment for experiencing art and cultural events. The grounds are a place of natural and artistic beauty, equally suited for quiet reflection and exploring with family and friends.
Six pedestrian and multi-use trails wind through the campus, connecting the surrounding neighborhoods, parks, and downtown Bentonville to the Museum."
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art http://www.crystalbridges.org/
Now those of you who live in Bentonville will be able to view a genuine Gilbert Stuart.