A Work in Progress in Arkansas: Crystal Bridges, at Ten Years

Panoramic view of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. (Courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art)
Walmart money has created a heartland temple to American culture, past and present.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE U ntil a few weeks ago, I’d never visited the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark. Shame on me. It’s marking its tenth anniversary this year, adding to my embarrassment. Brian Time, alas, is like biblical or geological time. Everything takes forever.

I finally got there, and on New Year’s Day. It’s fantastic, as I hoped, with a few grating exceptions. The first is the museum’s dive into race politics. A Black Lives Matter banner waves its furls at the top of the Crystal Bridges homepage. Why is it there?

If anyplace should understand the centrality of branding, it’s a

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