When you hear the names Rockefeller, Edward A. Whitney, and Henry Clay Frick, you immediately think about the great cultural and art institutions they gave to our country: Rockefeller University, the Whitney Museum, and the Frick. Now, a new name has been added to the list of institutions made possible through philanthropy: Crystal Bridges.
I think this is very much an American tradition: families or individuals who have amassed great wealth reach a point in their lives where they want to give back to the country that afforded them an extraordinary opportunity. Alice Walton and Walmart followed in this tradition of giving something back when they decided to establish Crystal Bridges museum. The museum is devoted to American art and artists, and admission is free, thanks to Walmart’s sponsorship.