Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

Crystal Bridges, the museum that Walmart built. Alice Walton’s collection and Walmart’s support of free general admission to the public have created an art oasis in a town most visited by fly in, fly out businesspeople.

Crystal Bridges is an architectural gem, its walkways provide enlivening views of the museum and its natural surroundings. The permanent exhibition covers several centuries of American art. The only disappointment is the restaurant, Eleven, open for dinner only on Wednesday and Friday, giving credence to the view that great scenery and great food are seldom paired. Three bland uninspiring appetizers led to variously undercooked and overcooked entrees, better to enjoy the surrounds with a drink.

If you have a few hours free on a stop in Bentonville, Arkansas, a visit is a must.

 

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This is a great museum, and the first world-class art museum opened in the South in the past decade. The restaurant does have great twists on Southern fare, as I enjoyed the beans and cornbread – done as I had never had then before.