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About Crystal Bridges

view of walker landing in the fall

The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. Founded by philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton, Crystal Bridges is a public non-profit charitable organization. The museum opened on November 11, 2011, and welcomes all with free admission.

Crystal Bridges takes its name from a nearby natural spring and the bridge construction incorporated in the building, designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. A series of pavilions nestled around two spring-fed ponds house galleries, meeting and classroom spaces, and a large, glass-enclosed gathering hall. Guest amenities include a restaurant (Eleven) and Coffee Bar on a glass-enclosed bridge overlooking the ponds, a Museum Store designed by architect Marlon Blackwell, and a library featuring more than 50,000 volumes of art reference material. Five miles of sculpture and walking trails link the museum’s 120-acre park to downtown Bentonville, Arkansas. In 2023, the museum welcomed nearly 785,000 visitors.

Annual reports

Crystal Bridges Annual Report 2020
Crystal Bridges Annual Report 2019
Crystal Bridges Annual Report 2018
Crystal Bridges Annual Report 2017
Crystal Bridges Annual Report 2016
Crystal Bridges Annual Report 2015
Crystal Bridges Annual Report 2014

Indigenous Peoples Acknowledgment

As Crystal Bridges and the Momentary, we recognize our role as settlers and guests in the Northwest Arkansas region. We acknowledge the Caddo, Quapaw, and Osage as well as the many Indigenous caretakers of this land and water. We appreciate the enduring influence of the vibrant, diverse, and contemporary cultures of Indigenous peoples. We are conscious of the role in colonization that museums have played. As cultural institutions, we have a responsibility to engage in the dismantling of historical and systemic invisibility of Indigenous peoples past, present, and future. We choose to intentionally hold ourselves accountable to appropriate conversation, representation, connection, and education to facilitate a space of measurable change.

Art Collection

Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection spans five centuries of American artworks from early American to the present and is always free to view. Crystal Bridges is committed to telling broad and inclusive stories by acquiring and showcasing the highest quality works by artists underrepresented in art history and conventional museum frameworks. Works such as Asher B. Durand’s Kindred Spirits, Gilbert Stuart’s George Washington, and Georgia O’Keeffe’s Jimson Weed are displayed alongside contemporary artists such as Kerry James Marshall, Maya Lin, Fritz Scholder, Jaune Quick-to-See-Smith, Félix González-Torres, and Amy Sherald, representing some of the finest achievements in American art. The collection continues to grow, while the museum also offers temporary exhibitions that complement the collection and can also reveal art’s connections to equality and justice.

Education and Engagement

Crystal Bridges provides year-round programming for all ages, including lectures, performances, classes, and continuing education for K-12 teachers. More than 50,000 schoolchildren visit the museum each year as part of the Willard and Pat Walker School Visit Program, which offers schools reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses associated with a school field trip, including transportation costs, substitute teachers, and lunch. An initiative to develop high-quality online learning opportunities for students and teachers is currently underway.

Download our award-winning apps, CB Museum and CB Outdoors, available free for both Apple and Android devices, to learn more about artarchitecture and nature at Crystal Bridges.


Crystal Bridges offers two research fellowship programs. The Tyson Scholars in American Art program supports full-time scholarship in the history of American art. The Reese Teacher Fellowship provides for research into the development of interdisciplinary connections between American art and core curriculum subjects of language arts, history, social studies, and the sciences. In addition, Crystal Bridges administers the awarding of the Don Tyson Prize, an unprecedented award recognizing significant achievements in the field of American art.

The Momentary

On 02-22-2020, Crystal Bridges opened a satellite contemporary art space in downtown Bentonville called the Momentary (507 SE E St.). General admission is free.

Formerly a decommissioned cheese factory, it is now a multidisciplinary space for visual arts, performing arts, culinary experiences, festivals, and artists-in-residence offering dynamic programs and experiences. Food and beverage options include the Tower Bar (offering craft cocktails and the best views of Bentonville), the Momentary Food Truck, the outdoor RØDE Bar, and an Onyx Coffee Lab location. In 2023, the Momentary welcomed more than 156,000 visitors.


Remuseum is an independent research project seeking to promote innovation among art museums across the U.S. Inspired and supported by entrepreneur and arts patron David Booth, powered by the disruptive spirit of Crystal Bridges, and with additional support from the Ford Foundation, Remuseum is a three-year project aiming to help U.S. museums fully embrace their missions by developing new approaches to relevance, governance, and financial sustainability.