With the hotly anticipated opening of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art coming in just a few weeks, you’d assume that all eyes would be locked on the building and the collection. However, there was an awkward shift of that gaze this weekend with the news that the museum’s founder, chief benefactor, and heiress to the Wal-Mart fortune, Alice Walton, was recently arrested for a DWI in Texas. According to the Weatherford Democrat, Walton was pulled over for speeding and the officer determined that she was intoxicated. She was arrested and spent the night in jail, released the following morning after paying a $1,000 bond. The paper continues that this follows another DWI charge in 1998, and an incident in which Walton was “involved in crash that resulted in the death of a 50-year-old pedestrian.” While the heiress has since released a statement about this latest run in with the vehicular law, wherein she states that she “accepts full responsibility for this unfortunate incident,” it’s surely not the sort of press that plays well before a major cultural opening. However, we suppose the news cycle is fast and the eyes will all shift back to the art and the building by November 11th.
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