20070620

Alice Walton - Everyday Low Art at High Price

Sam's daughter developped a taste for the kind of XIXth and XXth century American art the average Wal-Mart shopper loves to purchase on Hallmark Cards, chocolate boxes, jigsaw puzzles, embroidery designs... only she goes for the real thing, spending tens of millions of bucks on each "masterpiece".

Alice Walton knows about marketing. She can build the most comprehensive collection ever : no one will compete with her on that one, and all the has to do is to siphon oceans of uglities from big East- and West-coast basements, and to put a few top shelf items up front in order to lure consumers. This massive collection of cheap images will be exposed at the heart of Walmartland, in the billionaire's Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art*. Grand opening : Fall / Winter 2009.

I can't wait to visit it. I always dreamed of passing by the Rogers Daisy Airgun Museum and Bentonville, AR would be only a short detour from Rogers, AR... Much closer than Fort Smith, AR and its famous Fort Smith Trolley Museum. Unless... Come to think of it, I could go all the way from Crystal Bridges to Eurora, AR : you don't want to miss the Rubye and Henry Connerly Museum ! I would then stop at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum** (Little Rock, AR), and get some refreshment at the Pine Bluff, AR Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame / Band Museum where, according to the Director, "there is a fully-operational 1950’s soda fountain"... Boy, what a ride ! Better kick than Route 66...

NB : to my beloved visitors from Arkansas : nothing personal. I'm realy glad to see heart collections bloom at the art of the country... even if they compete more easily with Guggenheim for the shells than with Chicago for the contents. And I can find even more XIXth century academic monstruosities and ugly colorful sunsets in Orsay Museum.


* crystalbridges.org
**
clintonlibrary.gov - 1200 President Clinton Avenue Little Rock, Arkansas 72201(501) 374-4242. Hours Monday–Saturday 9:00 a.m.–5:00p.m.Sunday1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Admission : Adults $7.00 Senior citizens (62+) $5.00 College Students (With ID) $5.00 Retired Military (With ID) $5.00 Children (6-17) $3.00 Children under 6 Free. All Active Duty, Military Reservists, and National Guard Free. All White House interns Free.

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