Blanton Museum of Art

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The Blanton Museum of Art
Personification of Astrology by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri in the Blanton Museum

The Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art is the art museum and research center of the University of Texas at Austin. The museum is one of the largest university art museums in the United States, housing some 17,000 works from Europe, the United States and Latin America.[1][2] In 2012, the museum was listed as one of the 10 Best Museums and Galleries in Austin, Texas by The Guardian.[3]


The Blanton was established in 1963 as the University Art Museum. The museum's collections were originally displayed and stored in the Art Building, until 1972 when the permanent collection moved to gallery spaces in the Harry Ransom Center (then called the Humanities Research Center). In 1980, the museum was renamed the Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery.[4]

Dedicated building[edit]

On April 30, 2006, the museum opened a new 155,000 square foot (14,000 m²) facility on the University's campus, renamed the Blanton Museum of Art, after receiving a $12 million donation from Houston Endowment Inc. in honor of its former chairman, Jack S. Blanton.[5] The new $83.5 million[6] complex was designed by Kallmann McKinnell & Wood Architects. Once completed, the University of Texas surpassed Ohio State University and Harvard University to have the largest university art museum complex in the United States.[6]

Herzog & de Meuron controversy[edit]

Although the Museum was built as designed by Kallmann McKinnell & Wood Architects, they were not the first architectural firm hired for the project.[4] The notable Swiss-based architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron had originally been commissioned for the project, but resigned the commission in 1999 due to differences in their design and the wishes of the Board of Regents regarding the university's Campus Master Plan. Lawrence Speck, disappointed in the series of events that led to Herzog & de Meuron's resignation, resigned as dean of the School of Architecture, although he remains a faculty member.[7]


In 2009, Ned Rifkin was named the director of the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin. Rifkin was also named a professor of art and art history at the university as well as a special adviser to its president, William C. Powers.[8] He succeeded Jessie Otto Hite.[9]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°16′52″N 97°44′15″W / 30.281004°N 97.737473°W / 30.281004; -97.737473