THE CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF ART in Bentonville, AR

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American art was founded by Alice Walton ( daughter of Sam Walton) and opened in 2011. Free to all. The museum was named after, and built around a natural spring, Crystal Spring. Just a short walk from the museum’s south entrance, Crystal Spring bubbles up from under a rocky overhang in a deep hollow. This beautiful, natural spring has been a source of fresh water for more than 100 years. The water pours forth at a rate of 100 to 125 gallons per minute, at a chill 52 degrees.. This spring is the living heart of the Crystal Bridges’ grounds.

Along with the astounding Crystal Spring feeding the pool of water around the museum and the amazing art collection, the grounds also have 3 and 1/2 miles of trails. The trails include outdoor sculptures and an amphitheater. These trails and the scenery themselves are magnificent – like a continual work of art as you walk along the paths.

When I first arrived, I wasn’t so sure how I felt about the crazy, unique design of the buildings that made up the museum. But the more I saw and walked through the different sections, the more I fell in love. I loved all aspects of the museum, but I especially noticed that almost every gallery had a window showing a different ” snippet of scenery” of the museum buildings and setting. The more window scenes I saw, the more it revealed that each window’s scenery, was in itself, a work of art. These “works of art” tied all the buildings together. All the different photos of the museum in this posting were taken from these windows. I have been in dozens of art museums, but I have never seen this done before. It is sheer genius!

If you add this museum to your travel list, and you should, be sure to allow a whole day to see it all and wear good walking shoes. Otherwise, you will leave disappointed and saddened for you are sure you would have loved what you missed. Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed!!

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” by Thomas Merson

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