Skip to main content

Become a Lantern Bearer

Maxfield Parrish,

Lantern Bearers Light the Way for Future Generations

Drawing its name from one of the most admired artworks in our collection, Lantern Bearers are those who have designated Crystal Bridges as a beneficiary of their estates, helping to expand access to the arts and believing in the power of art to transform lives today…and forever.

In the spirit of this sentiment, the museum would like to invite you to consider including Crystal Bridges as part of your estate planning.

Ways to become a Lantern Bearer

Your Gift Your Goal Your Benefits
  • A cash amount,  an accepted work of art or other property, or a share of the residuary estate under your will or the remainder of your living or revocable trust.
  • Defer a gift until after your passing.
  • Maintain ownership and control of your assets during your lifetime.
  • Maintain your current lifestyle while making a meaningful gift to support Crystal Bridges that takes effect upon your passing.
Retirement Accounts & Life Insurance
  • Designation of Crystal Bridges as a beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of your IRA or other retirement accounts and/or life insurance.
  • Direction of a charitable roll-over of your IRA so that required minimum distributions go to Crystal Bridges.
  • Ensure your assets pass in a tax-efficient way to an organization you care about.
  • Avoid estate tax and income tax on retirement account assets passing to Crystal Bridges.
  • Avoid estate tax on life insurance proceeds paid to Crystal Bridges.
  • Charitable remainder annuity trust or unitrust.
  • Supplement your retirement income with a fixed or variable payment.
  • Achieve asset diversification in a tax-advantaged structure.
  • Qualify for a possible income tax charitable deduction when the trust is created.
  • Receive ongoing  payments on account of your gift.
  • Receive the ability to liquidate one or more appreciated assets through a tax-exempt trust, paying income tax only on what you receive from the trust.
  • Know that the assets remaining in the trust at your death will pass to Crystal Bridges.
Promised Gifts
  • Cash or securities
  • Accepted artworks
  • Real Estate
  • Other property
  • Activate your assets to support the mission of Crystal Bridges without making a current gift.
  • Designate Crystal Bridges as the steward of paintings, drawings, watercolors,  or other works of art.
  • Make a promised gift commitment (sometimes called a charitable pledge) that requires no transfer of ownership during your lifetime.
  • Allow Crystal Bridges  to plan for its future in reliance on your commitment.
  • Share your rare art works with the world by placing them in the trust of a renowned fine art museum.

Planned Giving Examples*


A gift designated in an individual’s will which Crystal Bridges receives from their estate.

Example 1: Jane Jones meets with her attorney to update her will, and includes language for a gift of 25% of her estate to Crystal Bridges, which will be transferred to the museum upon her death and execution and settlement of her will. Jane may elect to designate the gift to a specific initiative during her lifetime or leave that to the museum’s discretion.

Example 2: Andy and Sue Wagner meet with their attorney to update their will and include language leaving Crystal Bridges a residual bequest of $50,000, to be delivered to the museum upon settlement of their will.

Sample Language: I/We bequeath $_______ /______% of my/our estate to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, AR, 72712.

Retirement Accounts & Life Insurance

Gifts made by designating Crystal Bridges as the beneficiary of financial assets, such as retirement or banking accounts or life insurance policies.

Example: Jason Johnson is interested in supporting the museum’s mission beyond his lifetime, and designates Crystal Bridges as the beneficiary of his $250,000 life insurance policy. His heirs may be subject to estate and income taxes on the gift, while Crystal Bridges will receive this gift in-full as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

Charitable Annuities & Trusts

Gifts that allow donors to draw income from a trust or annuity during their lifetime, with the trustee (in this case the museum) receiving the principal of the trust or annuity upon their passing.

Example: Juan and Isabel Cruz meet with their financial planner to establish a charitable annuity trust for $500,000, establishing Crystal Bridges as the trustee. They elect to receive 5% annually from the trust as income, or $25,000 per year. When both Juan and Isabel pass away, the museum receives the remaining principal. Juan and Isabel enjoy the income from the annuity, a tax deduction for their generosity, and the knowledge that their gift will benefit the museum for generations to come.

Artwork or Other Real Property

Gifts of artwork, real estate, and other property are accepted by the museum on a case-by-case basis, with approval by the Art Committee and Board of Directors. Bequests of art are submitted for review by the Art Committee before acceptance into the Crystal Bridges collection.

Example 1: Kayla Jackson’s grandparents purchased a work of art by a significant American artist which is now in her possession.  She would like the work, now considered rare and of high value, to be in a museum collection after her death.  She submits the work to the Crystal Bridges Art Committee for review which confirms its interest. Jane meets with her attorney and amends her will designating the artwork be given to Crystal Bridges upon her passing.

Example 2: Anthony Anderson owns 100 acres of undeveloped property in Northwest Arkansas and would like to pass a portion of this asset to Crystal Bridges for its financial benefit. He contacts the museum’s Development department, which accepts the bequest. Anthony meets with his attorney to formalize the gift as a bequest in his will. Upon his passing, Crystal Bridges may liquidate the property and use the income from the sale to support a mission-related program.

*These examples are provided as non-exhaustive, hypothetical illustrations and are not based on actual cases at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. You should consult with your legal, financial, and/or tax advisors as you consider making a planned gift to the museum. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’s Tax Identification Number is 20-1359710.