The first time many of us had heard about the under-construction Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art was its involvement in the controversy over Fisk University trying to sell off their large collection of Georgia O’Keeffe paintings to the new museum. After that situation was cumbersomely hammered out, Crystal Bridges was perhaps more on the radar, what with its massive Moshe Safdie-designed complex and that Alice Walton, daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, was behind it all. Now it’s come out how much money is being spent on creating the Bentonville, Arkansas museum. The museum announced last week that the Walton Family Foundation has contributed a whopping combined $800 million to help bring it to life. Here’s a bit about the breakdown of the donation from the Arkansas Times:
Of that, about $350 million will go to an endowment to meet operating needs, which are expected to run $16 to $20 million a year. $325 million will go to the general endowment and $125 million will go for future capital needs.
Reportedly, all of this is in addition to the funding Ms. Walton has privately put into the project. Crystal Bridges is set to open in November of this year, so if you were thinking of visiting northern Arkansas sometime soon, late-fall might be your best bet.