HL and I left Hot Springs in search of a gemstone mine that might be open on Sunday afternoon. Arkansas' subsoil yields crystals, opals, and even diamonds. Fortune did not favor our search, as that enigmatic goddess had other treasures to bestow, further down the road. The weather forecast convinced us to proceed to Bentonville rather than spend more time on a quest for minerals. It was still fair, but heavy rain was predicted for the next day and we wanted to see the outdoor sculptures at the Crystal Bridges Museum before we lost the daylight.
Until the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art opened in 2011, Bentonville's claim to fame, or infamy, was as the site of the original Walmart store. Alice Walton, the heiress of the retail chain's founder, commissioned the architect Moshe Safdie to design a museum on a tract of Ozark woodland on the outskirts of Bentonville. Walton's family wealth financed the rapid acquisition of a superb permanent collection. In addition, there are ample galleries for temporary exhibits, plus exterior installations, water features, and garden paths extending over more than a hundred acres.
A stainless steel tree by Roxy Paine stands before the museum's entrance.
The museum buildings were closing when we arrived that evening, and the Sun had begun to set.