The Crystal Palace

A Walmart heiress provides a rich new home for American art

Courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery, N.Y.

Nick Cave's Sound Suit.

The Megarich don't build pyramids anymore--labor costs and all. But for the past century, the next best thing for them has been to establish art museums with their names attached. Henry Clay Frick, one of the most ruthless plutocrats of the Gilded Age, left behind the incomparable Frick Museum in New York City. Isabella Stewart Gardner, a much more benign soul, gave us hers in Boston. J. Paul Getty founded two in Los Angeles.

Alice Walton, the 62-year-old daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton and one of the wealthiest women in the U.S. ($21 billion and counting), has chosen not to...

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