1 This landmark building is Sam Walton's original Walton's Five and Dime. Today, it serves as the Walmart Museum and Visitor's Center on Bentonville town square. When Walton built this store in 1950, he had no idea how large his business would grow.
2 Historic downtown Bentonville has recently undergone a transformation.
3 The historic buildings have been renovated and many new businesses have opened.
4 This revival is due to the opening of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
5 The increased tourist traffic related to the museum has made Downtown Bentonville one of the state's most popular tourism destinations.
6 The Benton County Courthouse was built in 1928. The Classical Revival structure features keystones, round-topped windows, and the inscription "Sovereignty rests with the people" in a large concrete block above the main entrance.
7 Bentonville is proud of its many parks and their mission is "to enrich lives through recreation, leisure, and culture."
8 The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is a quick car ride from downtown.
9 Appropriately, the museum is located on Museum Way.
10 As we drove towards the museum, my eye was drawn to an odd form in a hay field. As part of the "Makin' Hay" exhibit at Crystal Bridges, three giant "Hay People" are on display near the entrance of the museum.
11 International sculptor Tom Otterness created the figures using hay and steel and the largest one stands 18 feet tall. They'll be on display for several more months.
12 Alice Walton had the museum built on a 120-acre parcel of natural Ozark forest that had belonged to her family for many years.
13 The approach to Crystal Bridges is an understated winding road through the forest. Guests see this section first.
14 It appears to be a rather simple looking colonnade. The tree is a hand-wrought stainless steel sculpture by Roxy Paine.
15 The full impact of Crystal Bridges architectural presence isn't felt until guests draw close enough to get a glimpse into the ravine at the more impressive structures positioned below.
16 Internationally acclaimed architect Moshe Safdie designed Crystal Bridges to be both a complement and a counterpoint to the surrounding landscape.
17 Rather than building at the edge of the ravine, overlooking the stream below, Safdie chose to let the landscape embrace the building and make the spring water an integral part of the design.
18 Two ponds were created with a series of small dams that manage the inflow of water. This natural spring, along with the striking glass and copper bridges that span the ponds, provided Crystal Bridges with its name.
19 There is a pleasing contrast of poured concrete walls, red cedar trim, and brushed steel railings that echoes the natural colors of the environment.
20 Looking at the Great Hall - The challenge of Crystal Bridges' design was to create a way to manage the flow of water in a way that would ensure the long-term safety of the works of art housed in the museum's collection. There is an elaborate flood control system in place.
21 Here I am standing in Eleven Restaurant, located in the bridge south of the Great Hall.
22 The landscape around the Museum is as much a part of the experience of Crystal Bridges as the artwork inside it. There are several wonderful trails to enjoy.
23 In the Early Nineteenth-Century Art Gallery, curved walls provide a unique point of view.
24 Portraiture dominated American art of the colonial era. These images reinforced family and business relationships and demonstrated the subjects' taste and accomplishments. Artists adapted styles, poses, costumes, and iconography from British and European sources, placing themselves and their patrons within grand artistic traditions.
25 George Inness 1825-1894 - Sunset on the River 1867 - Oil on canvas
26 John Singer Sargent 1856-1925 - Under the Willows 1887 - Oil on canvas
27 Mary Cassatt 1844-1926 - Summertime 1894 - Oil on canvas
28 John Singer Sargent 1856-1925 - Robert Louis Stevenson and His Wife 1885 - Oil on Canvas
29 John Singer Sargent 1856-1925 - Capri Girl on a Rooftop 1878 - Oil on canvas
30 Maxfield Parrish 1870-1966 - The Lantern Bearers 1908 - Oil on canvas mounted on board
31 Such fantastical characters and luminous color!
32 Winslow Homer 1836-1910 - The Return of the Gleaner 1867 - Oil on canvas
33 John Singer Sargent 1856-1925 - Portrait of George Henschel 1889 - Oil on canvas
34 Thomas Eakins 1844-1916 - The Art Student (James Wright) 1890 - Oil on canvas
35 William Merritt Chase 1849-1916 - Worthington Whittredge ca. 1890 - Oil on canvas
36 Albert Bierstadt 1830-1902 - Indians Fishing n.d. - Oil on paper mounted on canvas
37 John Vanderlyn 177501852 - Niagara and the Rapids ca. 1801-1802 - Oil on paper mounted on board
38 Ammi Phillips 1788-1865 - Woman in Black Ruffled Dress ca. 1835 - Oil on canvas