Skip to main content

Meet Our 10-Year'd Staff: Sally Clifton

picture of guest services associate sally clifton

In celebration of Crystal Bridges’ 10-year anniversary, we are highlighting museum staff who have been working at Crystal Bridges since the beginning: 10 years or longer! So take a few moments to meet our 10-Year’d (get it? tenured?) staff. In today’s blog, meet Guest Services Associate Sally Clifton, who is celebrating 10 years at Crystal Bridges.

 

Tell us a little about your role. What do you do at Crystal Bridges?

I am a Guest Services Associate. I greet our guests and sell tickets and memberships. I answer questions about the museum, including giving directions and assuming some concierge responsibilities. My other stations include the north and south lobby, as well as the Kusama Infinity Mirrored Room and the Frank Lloyd Wright House.

picture of guest services associate sally clifton with nine other people who were part of the first Museum Store team
The original Museum Store team.

Have you always been in this role? If not, how has it changed?

I started out in the Museum Store and worked there for 14 months.

 

In your role, can you share with us 1-2 significant changes you’ve seen happen (or been part of) at Crystal Bridges over the last 10 years?

Our colors have changed. When we opened they were a light blue, celery green, and teal. Now our color is royal blue.

What is something we do at the museum now that we were not doing 10 years ago?

We opened the call center after the Norman Rockwell exhibition, and it is now a well-oiled machine with three full-time associates.

 

What has kept you here?

The volunteers. Many of them are some of my closest friends. There was a group of them who traveled to Ft. Worth several years ago to attend my daughter’s wedding.

picture of guest services associate sally clifton eating lunch with five other women
Sally at lunch with a group of volunteers / friends.

What has been the most exciting artwork you’ve seen at the museum, either in the collection or in an exhibition? Most exciting moment?

Definitely the opening of the Frank Lloyd Wright House. It was fun to watch them put [it] back together again [as they moved it from its original location in New Jersey to preserve it]. Sometimes we run out of tickets 30 minutes after opening. It meant a lot to me because I grew up in Chicagoland, and my paternal grandparents lived in Oak Park and my maternal grandparents lived in River Forest. I remember asking my mom which houses were the Frank Lloyd Wright houses, and she said “the ones with the overhang.”

Bachman-Wilson House Main Living Area
Bachman-Wilson House Main Living Area

How have you grown over the last 10 years, either as a person or in your professional capacity?

I never took art history in college. My mother is so impressed with me now when I take her to the Art Institute of Chicago and can identify the artists without reading the plaques. I have so much more empathy for others now that I have been educated by my teammates and the wonderful staff at the University of Arkansas. I have learned so much about racism, diversity, and equity and can identify micro- and macro-aggressions. We are all so very lucky to work in this sanctuary of open-mindedness.

picture of guest services associate sally clifton with three other women in the great hall

If you could go back 10 years and give yourself one piece of advice, what would you say?

It will slow down.

 

What do you think Crystal Bridges will be like 10 years from now?

More tremendous than it is now. I am very excited about doubling our space and therefore our collection and especially Convergence. My grandson will love it.