Art Bridges hires Paul R. Provost as CEO

Press release

Bentonville, AR – Paul R. Provost, Ph.D. has been selected as chief executive officer (CEO) of Art Bridges Foundation (Art Bridges). He will begin his tenure on Aug. 5.

Art Bridges is a pioneering new foundation dedicated to dramatically expanding access to American art across the country. Founded by patron of the arts and philanthropist Alice Walton, Art Bridges strives to bring great works of American art out of storage and into communities across the country through collaborative development and funding of exhibitions, collection loans and programs designed to reach new audiences.

“We are delighted to welcome Paul as our new CEO,” said Alice Walton, Art Bridges founder and board chairperson. “Paul’s experience as a scholar, curator and business professional will help us develop new partnerships and broaden our reach. This is an exciting time for Art Bridges, and Paul’s expertise will help guide our growth in working with museums and arts organizations to expand access to American art across the country.”

A graduate of Princeton University who holds both an M.A. and Ph.D. in the history of art and archaeology, Provost was curator of paintings, drawings & sculpture at the New-York Historical Society before joining the staff at Christie’s in New York where he was the director of trusts & estates and later became deputy chairman. In addition, he has more than 25 years of experience as a teacher, guest lecturer and committee member at organizations ranging from Williams College to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“I’m deeply inspired by Alice Walton’s vision for Art Bridges and its core mission – providing access for everyone to outstanding examples of American art,” said Provost. “Art and education have transformed my life, and I’m excited to be leading an organization that can provide life-changing opportunities for others. By building on its current momentum, Art Bridges is poised to lead an expansive and inclusive conversation around who we are as a nation. Along with Art Bridges’ museum partners and the museum-going public we can begin that discussion with our shared American culture as the communal touchstone.”

About Art Bridges

Art Bridges strives to bring great works of American art out of storage and into communities across America. Through financial and planning support, Art Bridges helps organizations of all sizes build exhibitions and programs that deeply engage audiences.

Art Bridges is growing a dynamic collection of American art that is available for loan to partners. Ranging from the early 19th century through today, this ever-evolving collection is designed to allow borrowing partner institutions to connect with and engage their communities in unexpected ways. The Art Bridges collection has gathered significant representations of African American art, landscape painting, icons of Pop art, Abstraction and Modernism, among others.

Art Bridges encourages collecting institutions to look to their own holdings for new ways, including loans and/or touring exhibitions, to build connections with their communities or with audiences around the country.

Art Bridges supports new models of collaboration and sharing among museums and cultural organizations, to encourage innovation and lead to greater access to American art for all.

Art Bridges is currently supporting projects in more than 25 states across America. For project examples, visit Organizations may seek support from Art Bridges at any time during the year; application deadlines are rolling and specific to each project. For more information, visit

Article Information

Published July 9, 2019