Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, is the visionary behind the creation of this Museum, which opened in 2011. This is a fabulous site, an unexpected treat, and impossible to cover in one day. We arrived at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art just as they opened. The weather was threatening and then it rained most of the day.
The vision for the design of the whole site was to give the illusion that the Museum was part of the landscape. The roofs of the building rise to the a level with the ravine's edge, their lines extending the shape of the slope behind them. The curved forms of the bridges mimic the rolling shapes of the Ozark hills. A great deal of glass is used to provide natural light and give the guest some great views of the grounds.
Moshe Safdie was the architect for the whole site. He is recognized for humanizing large scale projects by creating open spaces, gardens and views for everyone and integrating the project seamlessly into the fabric of the surrounding site. He has received numerous awards and made significant contributions to education. He is strongly influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural philosophy and embraced E. Fay Jone's view of integration of outside and inside spaces (you can see Frey's architecture at Thorncrown shown in the Eureka Springs post) .
Up next, the inside of the Museum with a very small representation of American art and sculpture.