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Crystal Bridges Museum of American ArtCrystal Bridges Museum of American Art Bentonville, Arkansas
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas will be opening this year in November that is funded by the Walton Family Foundation, and spearheaded by Alice Walton, the daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton; in a magnificent glass and wood structure that was designed by famed architect, Moshe Safdie and engineer Buro Happold. The design showcases a number of pavilions that are sitting around two creek-fed ponds, with 100,000 square feet of galleries, a library, 250 seat auditorium, meeting and classrooms and a lovely sculpture garden. There will also be outdoor venues for concerts and other public events, and outstanding nature trails that flow through the complex. The opening date hasn't been set yet, but it will give another 75 people jobs and it will be within walking distance of downtown. The collection includes $488 million in assets, with more pieces continuously coming in, with Alice donating $317 million, which won't hurt her total net worth which is about $20 plus billion. She is the sixteenth richest person in the world and that figure fluctuates as the market does, but she is the richest woman in the world. And with that kind of backing the museum is sure to be one of the finest American art museums in the world, if not, the best. Art historian John Wilmerding was hired in 2005 for the acquisition and advice on the museum's programming, and last year, he stated that Alice is involved in almost every acquisition and won't spend at any cost, but will purchase only the finest and rarest. He believes that the new museum will be at least one of the top half dozen art museums in the nation, and with the collections acquired thus far it is sure to be one of the very best. The museum has been in numerous talks with other museums about purchasing some of their finest works, and the collection continues to grow, adding the best artworks in America by Americans. The permanent collection will contain American artworks from the colonial period to the contemporary era, with famous works that include Charles Wilson Peale's portrait of George Washington, along with paintings by other such notables as Marsden Hartley, George Bellows, Walton Ford, Jasper Cropsey, Mary McCleary, Asher Durand, Norman Rockwell, Thomas Eakins, John Singer Sargent, Stuart Davis, Winslow Homer, Romare Bearden, Eastman Johnson, John LaFarge and Charles Bird King.  The Grand Opening is planned for 11-11-11 and will explore the unfolding story of this nation by actively collecting, exhibiting, interpreting and preserving the many outstanding works of art that not only illuminate our heritage and artistic possibilities, but will showcase the best and finest works of art in this country today.

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 Enterprise Bentonville

Enterprise Rental Car NW Reg. Apt. 
1 Airport Blvd. Ste. 6

Bentonville Enterprise Car Rental
 307 S. Walton Blvd. Ste. B

Peel Mansion and Historic GardensPeel Mansion & Historic Gardens Bentonville, Arkansas
The Peel Mansion Museum and Heritage Gardens in Bentonville, Arkansas is the former residence of Colonel Samuel W. Peel, and was built in 1875, after he had promised his wife, Mary Emaline Berry Peel that she would live in a "fine mansion" that would remind her of her girlhood years in Alabama. The mansion is an excellent example of Italianate style, although it had been overcoated with stucco sometime after Peel left it, but even so it would be added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. Sam was a native of the state, going into the Civil War and rising to the rank of Colonel in the Fourth Regiment, Arkansas Infantry, by the time it would end. He would be broke at the end of the war, but had a career in law to start off with, while many had nothing, especially an education in law. He would be admitted to the bar in Carrollton in 1865, where his family would live before moving to Bentonville, and as he progressed through the state's legal system, he would become the prosecuting attorney in the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Arkansas, and eventually serve in the US House of Representatives from 1883 until 1893. Mary Peel would pass away in 1902, and Sam would move out of the mansion the next year, and for several years try to sell it. It wouldn't get a new owner until 1910, and during the ensuing eight decades it would be passed along numerous owners, until 1991, when the Murphy family would sell the estate to Wal-Mart, which turned around and donated the house to the Peel House Foundation in 1992. The house would get a much needed and appropriate rejuvenation, as well as furnishing the interior with period antiques, rugs, furniture and various accessories from the early Victorian period. The mansion has seven rooms on both floors, with eight fireplaces, and the front hall sports a magnificent walnut balustrade staircase. The ceilings are twelve and a half feet high on both levels, which would make it quite expensive to heat and cool, but when you own a mansion, it is doubtful if you ever have to worry about paying the utilities bill. The mansion had been constructed using oak timbers and bricks made right on the property, with the upper flooring made of tongue and groove hard pine and the lower floors of oak. In 1992, a marvelous outdoors garden would be installed with historic roses, native plants and perennials being added with the landscape already filled with huge shade trees and vignette gardens using curvilinear walkways.

February 02, 2011