Alice Walton’s Crystal Bridges Museum is getting its own luxury hotel, according to the AP. The city has been upgrading water and sewer lines. Several restaurants are also in the works for the area.
Ms. Walton, you are about to put Bentonville, Arkansas on the map! Or something. Though we don’t doubt that the museum will contain some interesting art—Ms. Walton told the Times last month she was snatching up “substantial” bodies of work by Martin Johnson Heade and John Singer Sargent among others—Crystal Bridges is really starting to sound like, well, the Wal-Mart of museums. In turn, Bentonville, the headquarters of the mega-chain, more and more, is looking like it might become a highbrow company town. But, can a museum create an entirely new infrastructure? Either way, it looks like the 35,000 inhabitants of Bentonville—whose greatest cultural attraction before was a museum of Western and American Indian art in Tulsa—better get prepared for their home to become a repository for eager art fans looking to peruse the 201,000 square foot museum and its ilk.