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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 9, 2014 / 9 Iyar, 5774

Wal-Mart Money Builds Wonderland of Art

By Suzanne Fields




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- When Alice Walton, the Wal-Mart heiress and second richest woman in America, decided to build a Museum of American Art in her hometown deep in the Arkansas Ozarks, no one questioned her ability to spend money. Her daddy, Sam Walton, had left her a lot of it. Forbes puts her worth at $34.9 billion. What they questioned, expressed with bicoastal sneer and snark, was her ability to know what she was getting for daddy's money.

When she called the museum "Crystal Bridges," commemorating a natural stream to be traversed on bridges leading visitors to the art, the snobs got out their long knives, scoffing that the name sounded like a hillbilly stripper. She was regarded as a backwoods interloper in the Manhattan art world, a "culture vulture" forging a "false front for Wal-Mart," the naif peddling a hollow experience to the natives. The mascot of the state university, after all, is the feral razorback hog.

But Mrs. Walton, 64, (she kept her maiden name after two failed marriages) has loved art since, as a 10-year-old she bought her first "painting" at her father's 5-and-dime store on the town square, a print of Picasso's "Blue Nude." Five decades later she got the attention of the art world when she purchased "Kindred Spirits," a spectacular work of the Hudson River School by Asher B. Durand, for $35 million from the New York City Public Library. The art world howled. The painting is a piece of cultural history commemorating the friendship of Thomas Cole, the landscape painter and the poet William Cullen Bryant. It was thought much too important for the eyes of rubes.

But the intrepid collector, who had painted watercolors of flora and fauna with her mother on camping trips while daddy and her three brothers fished, had other ideas. "Kindred Spirits" was the perfect centerpiece for the regional museum to link art and nature. She hired architect Moshe Safdie, renowned for integrating buildings into the landscape, to design the museum.

The rustics cheered her, watching construction from an overlook deck, and came out in greater numbers when the $1.2 billion museum opened in November 2011. Eight of every 10 of the million visitors so far have been from Arkansas and its "touching states," Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma.

A stream of bright yellow school busses pulls up to the museum with squealing teenagers from the surrounding states eager for their first look at real art.

What they see is a unique collaboration of art and nature -- walking trails punctuated by witty sculptures of bronze bears, a tortoise, a hare, as well as magnificent abstractions by modernists. The museum is a natural art education where realistic, classic, pop and abstract art are in conversation with each other, challenging different points of view. Norman Rockwell's famous "Rosie the Riveter" meets Charles Willson Peale's "George Washington." Andy Warhol's "Dolly Parton" meets "Cupid and Psyche" by Benjamin West. One wing displays stunning paintings from the nation's colonial past. Donald Judd, Mark di Suvero and Jeff Koons are the contemporary stars.

Thousands of children from elementary school through high school have taken educational tours. Their transportation, lunches and even substitute teachers are paid from a $10 million endowment from the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation. In one study, children who had visited the museum demonstrate critical thinking skills and an openness to aesthetic values, recalling visual details of what they had seen.

The museum surprises critics, too. Alice Walton is in the ranks now with other zillionaires -- the likes of Henry Clay Frick, J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller and Duncan Phillips -- who turned their collections into museums and libraries.

Wal-Mart, headquartered in Bentonville, has contributed to the transformation of Northwest Arkansas, once the poorest part of a poor state. Surrounding towns have spruced up the town square, invested in schools and infrastructure, and now the region is the most prosperous part of the state (and led the political transformation of Arkansas from stubborn blue to reliable red). Travel magazines call Bentonville one of the "hottest" travel destinations, and the town has grown from 6,000 when Sam Walton opened his first Ben Franklin 5 and 10 Store on the town square in 1950 to more than 65,000 now. A new boutique hotel just off the square exhibits avant-garde art in the lobby. There's a Wal-Mart Museum on the square, with a video of Sam Walton in a grass skirt dancing the hula on Wall Street, celebrating an 8 percent profit for the first year Wal-Mart went public.

This is the week in May when collectors rush to New York for spring auctions to spend their millions on additions to museum collections. In Bentonville such art is free for the watching, with the sun shining after a hard winter and dogwoods in bloom on the mountains. Sometimes life feels like a masterpiece.

Suzanne Fields Archives

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields

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