Crystal Bridges Museum Draws 600K Visitors in First Year

Gallery view.  Courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
Gallery view. Courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
  • Frank Weston Benson (1862-1951) Summer Day, 1911.  Oil on canvas, 36 1/8 x 32 1/8 in.  (91.8 x 81.6 cm).  Courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas.  Photography by Dwight Primiano.  © Estate of Frank Weston Benson / Licensed by Faith Andrews Bedford, St.  Petersburg, FL

    Frank Weston Benson (1862-1951) Summer Day, 1911. Oil on canvas, 36 1/8 x 32 1/8 in. (91.8 x 81.6 cm). Courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Photography by Dwight Primiano. © Estate of Frank Weston Benson / Licensed by Faith Andrews Bedford, St. Petersburg, FL

    © Estate of Frank Weston Benson / Licensed by Faith Andrews Bedford, St. Petersburg, FL

A year ago, the art museum founded by Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton opened its doors and since then 604,000 visitors have made the trek to Bentonville, Arkansas, to view American masterworks.

The city of 36,000 residents has hosted nearly 2,000 people per day who come for special exhibitions and gallery installments at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Attendance was nearly double what was expected for the museum which opened on Nov. 11, 2011.

Next year the momentum should continue, says director Don Bacigalupi.

A major Norman Rockwell show opens in March, and is followed by the second installment of a four-year agreement that showacases works from the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Louvre in Paris and Crystal Bridges.

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