Since founding the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, in 2011, Alice Walton has stayed busy building the institution, and now she is adding another project to her slate. Today, the Wal-Mart heiress and ARTnews “Top 200” collector revealed her plans for Art Bridges, a new 501(c)(3) foundation that will loan works to exhibitions of American art and help travel shows around the nation. (Art Bridges has a collection of its own that’s separate from Crystal Bridges’s holdings.)
Art Bridges has already lent works to shows at institutions around America, from the Dallas Museum of Art to the Portland Museum of Art, and now it will continue to help fund shows. It’s currently lending a work by John Sloan to the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn, New York, and a painting by Gilbert Stuart to the Juniata College Museum of Art in Huntington, Pennsylvania. According to a release, Art Bridges has also brought on some notable names for future projects, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Smithsonian American Art.
Upcoming plans for the organization include helping shows travel around the United States. Art Bridges is working with the American Federation of Arts to bring a show of works from the Studio Museum in Harlem collection to several American institutions, and is also currently co-organizing a museum-network initiative with the Terra Foundation for American Art. Walton’s new foundation has also provided support to Crystal Bridges.
“We want to support partner institutions in expanding and deepening their connection with audiences,” Walton said in a statement. “This is about engaging communities through providing access and learning opportunities, as well as allowing for experimentation in exhibition development.”