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Crystal Bridges Museum to welcome 1-millionth visitor

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark. (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times / August 29, 2012)

Wal-Mart reports on its corporate website that it receives more than 245 million customers and members per week at its stores in countries around the world.
This week, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, which was founded by Wal-Mart heiressAlice Walton, said it expects to welcome its 1-millionth visitor at its location in Bentonville, Ark. 
Will there be balloons and confetti?  Since opening to the public in late 2011, the Crystal Bridges Museum has sought to become a destination spot for local and international art enthusiasts as well as students of all ages. Unlike most major metropolitan art museums, Crystal Bridges boasts free admission, which has no doubt helped the museum in the attendance department.
A Crystal Bridges news release this week stated that the museum has exceeded its projected annual attendance figures. The museum said it had initially estimated 150,000 to 300,000 visitors per year. In the first 12 months it was open, it reported 650,000 visitors.
Of its 1 million visitors so far, the museum said that 64% were from Arkansas, and about 20% came from six nearby states: Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi.
It said the remaining 16% hailed from other parts of the U.S. and abroad.  
To put Crystal Bridge's attendance figures in perspective, the Los Angeles County Museum of Artreported attendance of about 1.3 million visitors for the 2011-12 fiscal year. New York'sMetropolitan Museum of Art -- the biggest art museum in the nation -- saw more than 6 million visitors for the calendar 2012 year.


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