The daughter of Wal-Mart co-founder, her father, Sam Walton (d. 1922), a former clerk, founded original Bentonville store with his brother James. Today Wal-Mart has sales of $405 billion, employs more than 2.1 million people.
Alice Walton, recognized by Time Magazine as one of the world’s most influential people in 2012, led the Walton Family Foundation’s development of Crystal Bridges – Museum of American Art. Crystal Bridges is as a premier venue for a national art institution dedicated to American art and artists, and a place of learning and community.
Located in Bentonville, Arkansas and designed by Boston-based architectural firm Moshe Safdie and Associates Inc., the museum houses art galleries, lecture and concert venues, meeting places, educational spaces and library resources.
The heart of the permanent collection includes works donated by Ms. Walton and the Walton Family Foundation, and may be augmented by gifts and loans from other private collectors.
In its first six months of operation, Crystal Bridges had attracted more than 300,000 visitors, far exceeding its pre-opening estimates. The success of the museum — its architecture and collection have been widely praised — prompted numerous accolades for Ms. Walton.
In June 2012, Ms. Walton was named Headliner of the Year by the Arkansas Press Association for the positive coverage generated for the state by Crystal Bridges. Previous recipients include Bill Clinton and Sam Walton.
During its commencement ceremony in May 2012, the University of Arkansas conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Arts and Humane Letters on Ms. Walton in recognition of her many charitable acts, including the founding of Crystal Bridges.