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Crystal Bridges receives $10M gift to support family experiences

The newly renovated lobby will be named Pamela and Wayne Garrison Family Foundation Lobby in honor of the donation.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art received a $10 million gift from the Pamela and Wayne Garrison Family Foundation to support family experiences.

The museum’s newly renovated lobby area will be named the  Pamela and Wayne Garrison Family Foundation Lobby (Garrison Lobby) in honor of the contribution.

“This generous gift from Wayne, Pam, and Alexandra embraces Crystal Bridges' mission of welcoming all—and especially welcoming families to have fun together,” said Alice Walton, Crystal Bridges' board chair. “It’s fitting that the lobby is named for this family who cares deeply about the positive role of the museum in our community.”

The museum's family experiences are designed to explore art, spark imagination, and celebrate joy among multigenerational families. The activities are centered around the museum's unique programs and interactive art installations that are popular across all ages.

Lobby Updates

The updates have created a more spacious lobby, offer protection from inclement weather and provide new programming opportunities. The lobby area and former courtyard are now enclosed in a glass dome, which provides guests shade protection against the sun. Other renovations include:   

  • The removal of the doors and glass windows from the front of the Museum Store allows more open and inviting space for visitors to step into and adds to the overall lobby experience.
  • A new information wall will be available for guests, including a map of Crystal Bridges, information screens, brochures, and coloring pages to enjoy.
  • Visitors will now have a path from the lobby to the elevators that will allow easier access to the Crystal Bridges Library.
  • The new, modern furniture will offer guests moments to sit and relax comfortably.
  • New lobby kiosks will be installed later this summer to allow visitors easy access to check-in and purchase tickets for exhibitions, events, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Bachman-Wilson House, and more.

“We are thrilled thinking about the number of families that will benefit from these kinds of experiences, and we know that Crystal Bridges, which has been offering great family experiences for a decade, will continue to spark imagination and exploration through art in creative ways,” said Alexandra Garrison Neville. “We look forward to watching families have life-changing experiences at Crystal Bridges.”

Crystal Bridges also announced plans for a major expansion in April 2022. This expansion will add 50 percent more space to the current facility, an addition of nearly 100,000 square feet, allowing the museum to showcase the growing collection of 3,500 art pieces and welcome more visitors to experience the power of art, in an inclusive environment.

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