Alice Walton

Alice Walton
Chairman of the Board
Crystal Bridges – Museum of American Art

Alice Walton, recognized by Time Magazine as one of the world’s most influential people in 2012, led the Walton Family Foundation's development of Crystal Bridges - Museum of American Art. Crystal Bridges is as a premier venue for a national art institution dedicated to American art and artists, and a place of learning and community.

Located in Bentonville, Arkansas and designed by Boston-based architectural firm Moshe Safdie and Associates Inc., the museum houses art galleries, lecture and concert venues, meeting places, educational spaces and library resources.

The heart of the permanent collection includes works donated by Ms. Walton and the Walton Family Foundation, and may be augmented by gifts and loans from other private collectors.

In its first six months of operation, Crystal Bridges had attracted more than 300,000 visitors, far exceeding its pre-opening estimates. The success of the museum — its architecture and collection have been widely praised — prompted numerous accolades for Ms. Walton.

In June 2012, Ms. Walton was named Headliner of the Year by the Arkansas Press Association for the positive coverage generated for the state by Crystal Bridges. Previous recipients include Bill Clinton and Sam Walton.

During its commencement ceremony in May 2012, the University of Arkansas conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Arts and Humane Letters on Ms. Walton in recognition of her many charitable acts, including the founding of Crystal Bridges.

In April 2012, TIME Magazine named Alice Walton to the "TIME 100" list of the 100 most influential people in the world, noting "With Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, [Alice Walton] has placed a daring bet that a small town can become a big art-world destination. We're betting she's right."

In January 2012, The Arkansas Times named Ms. Walton "Arkansan of the Year," saying "she is an art patron and philanthropist of spectacular dimension, a benefactor of her native state in unprecedented fashion."


Alice Walton is the daughter of the late Helen Walton and the late Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. Born in 1949, the youngest of four children, she spent her childhood in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Ms. Walton graduated from Trinity University, in San Antonio, Texas, with a B.A. in Economics and Finance. She began her career in finance as an equity analyst and money manager for First Commerce Corporation; and later served as Vice Chairman and head of all investment-related activities at the Arvest Bank Group.

In 1988, Ms. Walton founded Llama Company, an investment bank engaged in corporate finance, public and structured finance, real estate finance and sales and trading. She served as President, Chairman and CEO.  

She was the first chairperson and driving force behind the Northwest Arkansas Council. This community development organization played a major role in securing the development of the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport.

Ms. Walton arranged for, and provided, the initial seed capital to finance the construction of the airport. Her involvement was instrumental in the creation of the airport, and in recognition of her contribution to the airport project and her support of transportation improvements throughout the region, the Airport Authority Board of Directors named the airport terminal the Alice L. Walton Terminal Building. In 2001, Ms. Walton was inducted into the Arkansas Aviation Hall of Fame.

In addition to her philanthropic activities as a board member of the Walton Family Foundation, Ms. Walton has been active on the Board of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences at Little Rock and the Board of Advisors for the University of Arkansas Graduate Business School at Fayetteville.

In 1996, the University of Arkansas established the Alice L. Walton Chair in Finance, allowing the University, through its College of Business Administration, to pursue educational excellence on a national and international level.

Ms. Walton's vision led to the creation of Camp War Eagle, a unique summer camp in Northwest Arkansas that brings together children of differing socio-economic backgrounds and provides a remarkable experience for children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend a camp of this stature

Ms Walton serves on the board of the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas and is a member of the Trustees' Council of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

An avid horse-lover, Ms Walton currently lives in central Texas, where she raises cutting horses and operates the Rocking W Ranch.

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