A Travellerspoint blog

February 2021

Rapidly growing Bentonville, AR - home of Walmart

On May 9, 1950, Sam Walton opened the original Walmart on the downtown Bentonville square; it now has 11,500 stores with annual revenue in excess of $514 billion

On May 9, 1950, Sam Walton opened the original Walmart on the downtown Bentonville square; it now has 11,500 stores with annual revenue in excess of $514 billion

Bentonville is the fastest growing city in Arkansas (thanks to Walmart) with almost 55,000 people; unlike most of the state, the small downtown area is thriving

Bentonville is the fastest growing city in Arkansas (thanks to Walmart) with almost 55,000 people; unlike most of the state, the small downtown area is thriving

The Walmart Museum was surprisingly dry with lots of information to read but little explanation on how the company was able to grow so successfully; it was free and there wasn't even a gift shop

The Walmart Museum was surprisingly dry with lots of information to read but little explanation on how the company was able to grow so successfully; it was free and there wasn't even a gift shop

Making Change, 2015; this 1962 Fleetwood Cadillac was inspired by Sam Walton's Five and Dime and is covered in thousands of dimes, nickels and pennies

Making Change, 2015; this 1962 Fleetwood Cadillac was inspired by Sam Walton's Five and Dime and is covered in thousands of dimes, nickels and pennies

This is what Sam Walton's office looked like on the day he died; the office was usually unoccupied since Sam preferred to be visiting his stores (he was a licensed pilot too)

This is what Sam Walton's office looked like on the day he died; the office was usually unoccupied since Sam preferred to be visiting his stores (he was a licensed pilot too)

President George H. W. Bush awarded Sam Walton the Presidential Medal of Freedom shortly before his death in 1992; Walmart is the largest private employer in the country with 1.5  million employees

President George H. W. Bush awarded Sam Walton the Presidential Medal of Freedom shortly before his death in 1992; Walmart is the largest private employer in the country with 1.5+ million employees

This flag stood at the entrance to the Walmart in El Paso on August 3, 2019 when a racist gunman killed 22 customers; afterwards Walmart announced that it would stop selling all handgun ammunition and certain short-barreled rifle ammunition

This flag stood at the entrance to the Walmart in El Paso on August 3, 2019 when a racist gunman killed 22 customers; afterwards Walmart announced that it would stop selling all handgun ammunition and certain short-barreled rifle ammunition

Everywhere in Bentonville you see the wealth created by Walmart from the $450 million Crystal Bridges Museum to the perfectly manicured and decorated city parks

Everywhere in Bentonville you see the wealth created by Walmart from the $450 million Crystal Bridges Museum to the perfectly manicured and decorated city parks

This 1979 Ford F-150 was Mr. Sam's favorite vehicle and he would often take it to go to hunting; Asa Hutchinson, the current governor of Arkansas, is also from Bentonville

This 1979 Ford F-150 was Mr. Sam's favorite vehicle and he would often take it to go to hunting; Asa Hutchinson, the current governor of Arkansas, is also from Bentonville

Northwest Arkansas is home to 3 Fortune 500 companies - Walmart, Tyson Foods and JB Hunt Trucking; the University of Arkansas is in nearby Fayetteville

Northwest Arkansas is home to 3 Fortune 500 companies - Walmart, Tyson Foods and JB Hunt Trucking; the University of Arkansas is in nearby Fayetteville

Mountain biking is extremely popular with 28 miles of trails in the city; Bentonville's culture is a combination of a small, Southern city and a global business hub

Mountain biking is extremely popular with 28 miles of trails in the city; Bentonville's culture is a combination of a small, Southern city and a global business hub

This was about the only mention in the Walmart Museum of how the company sped the demise of the small town merchant; Bentonville is probably the only small town in America that has actually benefitted from Walmart

This was about the only mention in the Walmart Museum of how the company sped the demise of the small town merchant; Bentonville is probably the only small town in America that has actually benefitted from Walmart

Descendants of Sam Walton are now the 10th, 11th and 12th richest Americans with net worth of roughly $62 billion each; Walmart has been criticized for its lack of diversity which is noticeable in Bentonville which is less than 1% Black

Descendants of Sam Walton are now the 10th, 11th and 12th richest Americans with net worth of roughly $62 billion each; Walmart has been criticized for its lack of diversity which is noticeable in Bentonville which is less than 1% Black

Posted by VagabondCowboy 04:05 Comments (0)

Favorites from small Columbus Museum of Art

Christine Lerolle Embroidering, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1895; in my opinion, this was the finest work in the rather small museum

Christine Lerolle Embroidering, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1895; in my opinion, this was the finest work in the rather small museum

Lamp, Roy Lichtenstein, 1978; the artist received his BFA and MFA from The Ohio State University and went on to become an instructor there

Lamp, Roy Lichtenstein, 1978; the artist received his BFA and MFA from The Ohio State University and went on to become an instructor there

A Little Ball Game, Grandma Moses, 1949; taking up painting in her late 70s, Grandma Moses was an entirely self-taught artist whose work was featured on 1  million Hallmark holiday cards

A Little Ball Game, Grandma Moses, 1949; taking up painting in her late 70s, Grandma Moses was an entirely self-taught artist whose work was featured on 1+ million Hallmark holiday cards

Nocturne Navigator, Alison Saar, 1998; this towering figure commemorates those involved with the Underground Railroad; there were 20  documented stations in central Ohio

Nocturne Navigator, Alison Saar, 1998; this towering figure commemorates those involved with the Underground Railroad; there were 20+ documented stations in central Ohio

Autumn Leaves - Lake George, NY, Georgia O'Keeffe, 1924; this is one of my favorite O'Keeffe works and predates her time in the American Southwest

Autumn Leaves - Lake George, NY, Georgia O'Keeffe, 1924; this is one of my favorite O'Keeffe works and predates her time in the American Southwest

Back of Kelly, Evan Penny, 2005; this amazingly life-like work was made with silicone, pigment, hair and aluminum (it even shows his back hair!)

Back of Kelly, Evan Penny, 2005; this amazingly life-like work was made with silicone, pigment, hair and aluminum (it even shows his back hair!)

This sleek, 100 ft high, cherry-red installation bridges the street behind the museum; a student at the nearby Columbus College of Art and Design had originally joked about the school needing a giant ART sign which led to this piece

This sleek, 100 ft high, cherry-red installation bridges the street behind the museum; a student at the nearby Columbus College of Art and Design had originally joked about the school needing a giant ART sign which led to this piece

Wandering Line, Julian Stanczak, 1990; I enjoyed some of the contemporary pieces more at this museum than at the others I've recently visited

Wandering Line, Julian Stanczak, 1990; I enjoyed some of the contemporary pieces more at this museum than at the others I've recently visited

The Shell Heap, Winslow Homer, 1904; the museum was expensive with an $18 admission and a very small selection of art on display

The Shell Heap, Winslow Homer, 1904; the museum was expensive with an $18 admission and a very small selection of art on display

Paranirvana (Self-Portrait), Lewis DeSoto, 1999; based on a 45 ft long reclining Buddha, this piece features the artist's face and is inflated with air

Paranirvana (Self-Portrait), Lewis DeSoto, 1999; based on a 45 ft long reclining Buddha, this piece features the artist's face and is inflated with air

Portuguese Woman, Robert Delaunay, 1916; the artist co-founded the Orphism art movement, noted for its use of strong colors and geometric shapes

Portuguese Woman, Robert Delaunay, 1916; the artist co-founded the Orphism art movement, noted for its use of strong colors and geometric shapes

Sunflower, Christopher Ries, 2012; this piece is made from optical glass and is colored with oil paint and 24 carat gold (it weighs 1100 lbs and took a year to make)

Sunflower, Christopher Ries, 2012; this piece is made from optical glass and is colored with oil paint and 24 carat gold (it weighs 1100 lbs and took a year to make)

Victor Choquet Seated, Paul Cezanne, 1877; the museum had a strong focus on folk art with a special quilt exhibit

Victor Choquet Seated, Paul Cezanne, 1877; the museum had a strong focus on folk art with a special quilt exhibit

Bowl, Louis Comfort TIffany, 1890; I caught the museum between special exhibitions so there was less to see than normal; for such a large city this museum wasn't as impressive as Kansas City's or Detroit's

Bowl, Louis Comfort TIffany, 1890; I caught the museum between special exhibitions so there was less to see than normal; for such a large city this museum wasn't as impressive as Kansas City's or Detroit's

Houses at the Foot of a Cliff, Edgar Degas, 1895; townscapes were a rare subject for Degas but I actually prefer this to his more famous dancer sculptures

Houses at the Foot of a Cliff, Edgar Degas, 1895; townscapes were a rare subject for Degas but I actually prefer this to his more famous dancer sculptures

When Ends Meet (Oprah), Mickalene Thomas, 2008; she's one of the few artists that would dare include rhinestones in her work

When Ends Meet (Oprah), Mickalene Thomas, 2008; she's one of the few artists that would dare include rhinestones in her work

Posted by VagabondCowboy 10:30 Comments (0)

Very educational and fun National Aviary in Pittsburgh

The palm cockatoo is found in rainforests and woodlands of New Guinea and the Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia; apparently they can sometimes be seen around Sorong, Indonesia (where my scuba diving trip was last year) although I never saw one

The palm cockatoo is found in rainforests and woodlands of New Guinea and the Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia; apparently they can sometimes be seen around Sorong, Indonesia (where my scuba diving trip was last year) although I never saw one

The burrowing owl, like the ones we've seen in Cape Coral, can be found in grasslands, rangelands, agricultural areas, deserts, or any other open dry area with low vegetation; they nest and roost in burrows, such as those excavated by prairie dogs

The burrowing owl, like the ones we've seen in Cape Coral, can be found in grasslands, rangelands, agricultural areas, deserts, or any other open dry area with low vegetation; they nest and roost in burrows, such as those excavated by prairie dogs

What a cool job to have!; unfortunately it was difficult to hear her talk about the birds because of all the noise being made by the birds

What a cool job to have!; unfortunately it was difficult to hear her talk about the birds because of all the noise being made by the birds

The Venezuelan troupial, the national bird of Venezuela, is also found in Colombia and the Caribbean ABC islands and Puerto Rico; the term troupial is from French troupe (troop), so named because they live in flocks

The Venezuelan troupial, the national bird of Venezuela, is also found in Colombia and the Caribbean ABC islands and Puerto Rico; the term troupial is from French troupe (troop), so named because they live in flocks

This African penguin at the National Aviary spotted a couple of friends and tried his hardest to get closer to them; the aviary has a breeding program for many species and the first two African penguin chicks hatched in February 2012

This African penguin at the National Aviary spotted a couple of friends and tried his hardest to get closer to them; the aviary has a breeding program for many species and the first two African penguin chicks hatched in February 2012

The bald eagle builds the largest nest of any North American bird and the largest tree nests ever recorded for any animal species, up to 13 ft deep, 8.2 ft wide, and 1.1 tons in weight

The bald eagle builds the largest nest of any North American bird and the largest tree nests ever recorded for any animal species, up to 13 ft deep, 8.2 ft wide, and 1.1 tons in weight

The toco toucan is the largest and best known species in the toucan family (thanks to Froot Loops); it is found in semi-open habitats throughout a large part of central and eastern South America

The toco toucan is the largest and best known species in the toucan family (thanks to Froot Loops); it is found in semi-open habitats throughout a large part of central and eastern South America

The scissor-tailed flycatcher is also known as the Texas bird-of-paradise with its primary range being south-central US; they migrate through Texas and eastern Mexico to their winter non-breeding range, from southern Mexico to Panama

The scissor-tailed flycatcher is also known as the Texas bird-of-paradise with its primary range being south-central US; they migrate through Texas and eastern Mexico to their winter non-breeding range, from southern Mexico to Panama

Inca terns breed on the coasts of Peru and Chile, and are restricted to the Humboldt Current feeding on small fish like anchovies; they are quite loud making sounds like a cat's meow

Inca terns breed on the coasts of Peru and Chile, and are restricted to the Humboldt Current feeding on small fish like anchovies; they are quite loud making sounds like a cat's meow

The Bali myna is critically endangered with fewer than 100 adults assumed to currently exist in the wild; it is restricted to the island of Bali in Indonesia, where it is the island's only endemic vertebrate species

The Bali myna is critically endangered with fewer than 100 adults assumed to currently exist in the wild; it is restricted to the island of Bali in Indonesia, where it is the island's only endemic vertebrate species

The black-faced ibis is found in grassland and fields in southern and western South America; it remains fairly common in Argentina and Chile, this species has now been almost entirely wiped out from the Peruvian part of its range

The black-faced ibis is found in grassland and fields in southern and western South America; it remains fairly common in Argentina and Chile, this species has now been almost entirely wiped out from the Peruvian part of its range

Scarlet-headed blackbirds occur in pairs in large reed beds in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and southern Brazil; they are monogamous and make a nest which is an open cup placed in the crotch of a shrub or woven into vegetation

Scarlet-headed blackbirds occur in pairs in large reed beds in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and southern Brazil; they are monogamous and make a nest which is an open cup placed in the crotch of a shrub or woven into vegetation

With a length (from the top of its head to the tip of its long pointed tail) of about one meter, Hyacinth macaws are longer than any other species of parrot; native to eastern South America, they are the largest macaw and the largest flying parrot species

With a length (from the top of its head to the tip of its long pointed tail) of about one meter, Hyacinth macaws are longer than any other species of parrot; native to eastern South America, they are the largest macaw and the largest flying parrot species

The Guam kingfisher is now extinct in the wild thanks to the brown tree snake; the species persists as a captive population of fewer than two hundred individuals at breeding facilities

The Guam kingfisher is now extinct in the wild thanks to the brown tree snake; the species persists as a captive population of fewer than two hundred individuals at breeding facilities

The great argus is a species of pheasant from SE Asia with one of the most elaborate mating rituals; the male dances before the female with his wings spread into two enormous fans

The great argus is a species of pheasant from SE Asia with one of the most elaborate mating rituals; the male dances before the female with his wings spread into two enormous fans

Lee and I remember the hadada ibis from Africa because of their extremely loud calls early in the morning; their range has increased in southern Africa by nearly 2 1/2 times in the 20th c. following the introduction of trees in parts that were treeless

Lee and I remember the hadada ibis from Africa because of their extremely loud calls early in the morning; their range has increased in southern Africa by nearly 2 1/2 times in the 20th c. following the introduction of trees in parts that were treeless

Native to New Guinea, the Victoria-crowned pigeon is considered the largest surviving species of pigeon; they walk with an unhurried gait along the forest floor searching for fallen fruit

Native to New Guinea, the Victoria-crowned pigeon is considered the largest surviving species of pigeon; they walk with an unhurried gait along the forest floor searching for fallen fruit

The heaviest eagle in the world (11-20 lbs), the Steller's sea-eagle lives in coastal NE Asia and mainly preys on fish and water birds; it is a threatened species with a wingspan of 8  ft

The heaviest eagle in the world (11-20 lbs), the Steller's sea-eagle lives in coastal NE Asia and mainly preys on fish and water birds; it is a threatened species with a wingspan of 8+ ft

The national bird of Peru, the Andean cock-of-the-rock is native to Andean cloud forests; as you might expect, male cocks-of-the-rock are polygamous, and have nothing to do with nesting once mating is done

The national bird of Peru, the Andean cock-of-the-rock is native to Andean cloud forests; as you might expect, male cocks-of-the-rock are polygamous, and have nothing to do with nesting once mating is done

The turquoise tanager is a resident bird from Trinidad, Colombia and Venezuela south to Bolivia and much of Brazil (primarily the Amazon); these are social birds usually found in groups in areas of humid forest

The turquoise tanager is a resident bird from Trinidad, Colombia and Venezuela south to Bolivia and much of Brazil (primarily the Amazon); these are social birds usually found in groups in areas of humid forest

Native to densely vegetated habitats in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, the white-rumped shama is a songbird which has made them popular as caged birds; they've been introduced on Kauai and Oahu

Native to densely vegetated habitats in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, the white-rumped shama is a songbird which has made them popular as caged birds; they've been introduced on Kauai and Oahu

One of my favorite stops in Pittsburgh was the National Aviary; it is the country's largest aviary with birds from all over the world such as the Palawan peacock pheasant

One of my favorite stops in Pittsburgh was the National Aviary; it is the country's largest aviary with birds from all over the world such as the Palawan peacock pheasant

The American flamingo is the only flamingo that naturally inhabits North America with a range as far south as the Galapagos; their life expectancy of 40 years is one of the longest in birds

The American flamingo is the only flamingo that naturally inhabits North America with a range as far south as the Galapagos; their life expectancy of 40 years is one of the longest in birds

The golden-breasted starling lives in NE Africa and inhabits the grassland, savannah, the thickets of acacias, dry-thorn forests and shrubland; these monogamous birds nest in tree holes, usually that woodpeckers have left

The golden-breasted starling lives in NE Africa and inhabits the grassland, savannah, the thickets of acacias, dry-thorn forests and shrubland; these monogamous birds nest in tree holes, usually that woodpeckers have left

Roseate spoonbills are sometimes seen in the southern US (a popular place to observe them is Darling National Wildlife Refuge near Cape Coral) like flamingoes, their color is derived from their diet

Roseate spoonbills are sometimes seen in the southern US (a popular place to observe them is Darling National Wildlife Refuge near Cape Coral) like flamingoes, their color is derived from their diet

Blue-crowned motmots are found in forests and woodlands of eastern Mexico; they have a low owl-like call and often sit still, and in their dense forest habitat can be difficult to see, despite their size

Blue-crowned motmots are found in forests and woodlands of eastern Mexico; they have a low owl-like call and often sit still, and in their dense forest habitat can be difficult to see, despite their size

Posted by VagabondCowboy 03:17 Comments (0)

Creativity shines at free Renwick Gallery in DC

Mother-Load, Timothy Horn, 2008; this carriage is made from crystallized rock sugar!; the Court of Claims occupied the building in the 1950s and needed more space so the building was slated for demolition; it was saved by Jacqueline Kennedy in 1963

Mother-Load, Timothy Horn, 2008; this carriage is made from crystallized rock sugar!; the Court of Claims occupied the building in the 1950s and needed more space so the building was slated for demolition; it was saved by Jacqueline Kennedy in 1963

When the Renwick Gallery was built in 1859 it was known as the American Louvre; now part of the Smithsonian (and free), it focuses on American craft and decorative arts from the 19th to the 21st century

When the Renwick Gallery was built in 1859 it was known as the American Louvre; now part of the Smithsonian (and free), it focuses on American craft and decorative arts from the 19th to the 21st century

Game Fish, Larry Fuente, 1988; one of Renwick Gallery's most beloved treasures, it whimsically captures the artist's love of surface ornamentation; he also spent 5 years covering a 1960 Cadillac in 1  million pieces

Game Fish, Larry Fuente, 1988; one of Renwick Gallery's most beloved treasures, it whimsically captures the artist's love of surface ornamentation; he also spent 5 years covering a 1960 Cadillac in 1+ million pieces

Seafoam and Amber-Tipped Chandelier, Dale Chihuly, 1994; this piece is among the first and finest of Chihuly's chandeliers, containing 3000  individual pieces of glass (the most he's ever used in one piece)

Seafoam and Amber-Tipped Chandelier, Dale Chihuly, 1994; this piece is among the first and finest of Chihuly's chandeliers, containing 3000+ individual pieces of glass (the most he's ever used in one piece)

Ghost Clock, Wendell Castle, 1985; what looks to be a grandfather clock covered by a white sheet is actually one solid piece of carved mahogany; I had to examine it in detail the illusion was so perfect!

Ghost Clock, Wendell Castle, 1985; what looks to be a grandfather clock covered by a white sheet is actually one solid piece of carved mahogany; I had to examine it in detail the illusion was so perfect!

Parkman Coupe, Dan Dailey, 1988; this piece celebrates Dr. Paul Parkman's contribution to the first successful vaccine for German measles; words from a letter by LBJ to the doctor circle the top

Parkman Coupe, Dan Dailey, 1988; this piece celebrates Dr. Paul Parkman's contribution to the first successful vaccine for German measles; words from a letter by LBJ to the doctor circle the top

Bureau of Bureaucracy, Kim Schmahmann, 1999; this piece re-interprets the 16th century European cabinets of curiosities and, instead of exotic items, it holds all the paper we depend on these days

Bureau of Bureaucracy, Kim Schmahmann, 1999; this piece re-interprets the 16th century European cabinets of curiosities and, instead of exotic items, it holds all the paper we depend on these days

Teapot Goblets, Richard Marquis, 1994; the Renwick is relatively small by today's standards but contained unique and interesting pieces; the temporary exhibits of the Smithsonian means there's always something new to see

Teapot Goblets, Richard Marquis, 1994; the Renwick is relatively small by today's standards but contained unique and interesting pieces; the temporary exhibits of the Smithsonian means there's always something new to see

Vase with Handle, Mary Jackson, 2018; this traditional SC basket, made from sweetgrass, bulrush and palmetto, was flawless; the Renwick was the first art museum in Washington DC

Vase with Handle, Mary Jackson, 2018; this traditional SC basket, made from sweetgrass, bulrush and palmetto, was flawless; the Renwick was the first art museum in Washington DC

Cherry, Debora Moore, 2018; a founding member of Dale Chihuly's glassblowing team, Moore had 4 trees exhibited each incredibly made of blown glass; she was the first woman, and the first African-American, to be a resident at Abate Zanetti, Murano, Italy

Cherry, Debora Moore, 2018; a founding member of Dale Chihuly's glassblowing team, Moore had 4 trees exhibited each incredibly made of blown glass; she was the first woman, and the first African-American, to be a resident at Abate Zanetti, Murano, Italy

Mandara, Lino Tagliapietra, 2005; born on the island of Murano, the artist is revered as a master glassblower for his teachings before becoming a studio artist; I'm always in awe of how something so beautiful can be made from glass

Mandara, Lino Tagliapietra, 2005; born on the island of Murano, the artist is revered as a master glassblower for his teachings before becoming a studio artist; I'm always in awe of how something so beautiful can be made from glass

Gorgonia 12, Timothy Horn, 2016; named for a genus of soft corals, the works in this series mirror oceanic forms decorated with designs for earrings and pendants from the 17th and 18th centuries

Gorgonia 12, Timothy Horn, 2016; named for a genus of soft corals, the works in this series mirror oceanic forms decorated with designs for earrings and pendants from the 17th and 18th centuries

Ruby Wet Foot Mongo with Kissing Serpents and Lily Pad, Fritz Dreisbach, 1990; another stunning glass creation; the artist is recognized as one of the pioneers of the American Studio Glass Movement and has won virtually every award in glass art

Ruby Wet Foot Mongo with Kissing Serpents and Lily Pad, Fritz Dreisbach, 1990; another stunning glass creation; the artist is recognized as one of the pioneers of the American Studio Glass Movement and has won virtually every award in glass art

Portal Gates, Albert Paley, 1974; the artist was a highly successful jeweler when he entered the Renwick competition to make doors for its shop; the gates soon became an icon for the museum and made Paley famous

Portal Gates, Albert Paley, 1974; the artist was a highly successful jeweler when he entered the Renwick competition to make doors for its shop; the gates soon became an icon for the museum and made Paley famous

Megaplanet, Josh SImpson, 2005; the artist (whose wife is an astronaut) creates spectacular glass orbs inspired by the night sky; he incorporates silver into his work for iridescence, tiling and undulation of colors

Megaplanet, Josh SImpson, 2005; the artist (whose wife is an astronaut) creates spectacular glass orbs inspired by the night sky; he incorporates silver into his work for iridescence, tiling and undulation of colors

Posted by VagabondCowboy 04:54 Comments (0)

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