September 19, 2017

Alice Walton Launches Foundation Dedicated to American Art

BENTONVILLE, ARKANSAS—Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art founder Alice Walton has established a foundation in support of American art. The new nonprofit will fund exhibitions, facilitate partnerships between various institutions, and grow its collection of works by American artists.

“Our country’s significant works of art should be available for all to see and enjoy,” said Walton. “Outstanding artworks are in museum vaults and private collections; let’s make that art available to everyone, and provide a way to experience these cultural treasures.”

Art Bridges will work on projects that range from organizing large-scale exhibitions to loaning single objects. It is currently working to develop projects with the Brooklyn Museum, New York’s MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, among others.

As founder and board chair of the Crystal Bridges Museum, which will provide administrative support, collection care, and curatorial expertise to the new nonprofit, Walton said that seeing the impact the institution has had on the region inspired her to create Art Bridges. “This is about engaging communities through providing access and learning opportunities, as well as allowing for experimentation in exhibition development.”

Several institutions have recently received artworks on loan from the Art Bridges collection, including the Amarillo Museum of Art, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, the Blanton Museum of Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Portland Museum of Art. The foundation is also working with the American Federation of Arts, a nonprofit organization that develops traveling art exhibitions and education programs around the globe, to bring “Selections from the Studio Museum in Harlem” (a working title) to six museums––the Frye Art Museum, the Gibbes Museum of Art, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, the Museum of the African Diaspora, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, and the Smith College Museum of Art––in 2019 and 2020.

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