Leslie Newell Peacock, who's on a press tour of the progress on the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, reports major news from a news conference today.
The Walton Family Foundation has contributed $800 million to the museum. Of that, about $350 million will go to an endowment to meet operating needs, which are expected to run $16 to $20 million a year. $325 million will go to the general endowment and $125 million will go for future capital needs. All will be earning money for museum use.
Spokesmen declined to say how much the Walton family — Alice Walton, daughter of Sam Walton, has been the museum's driving force — has already spent on the museum, planning, construction and art acquistion. It is substantial —- tens, probably hundreds, of millions. Other contributions are expected from other family and philanthropic sources, both local and national, museum spokesmen said today. A statement from Alice Walton said the gift provided a foundation on which the museum could continue to grow.
The museum will open with about 400 paintings on display, but that is only a portion of the collection. The museum is acquiring constantly, reporters were told. Reporters mostly saw building construction, but none of the collection itself, save a new piece of sculpture.