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Margo Sawyer, Blue (detail), 1998.

Blanton Museum of Art to Transfer More Than 500 Artworks to Institutions Across Texas

Following the Contemporary Austin’s decision to transfer its collection of more than seven hundred works to the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, Austin, in May 2017, the Blanton has announced that it will distribute five hundred of those works to seventeen institutions across Texas. 

“As leaders in Austin’s vibrant and rapidly growing arts community, the Blanton and the Contemporary Austin are delighted to collaborate on this ambitious multi-phase project, which will impact the arts here in Austin and throughout Texas,” Simone Wicha, director of the Blanton, said in a statement. “As part of this large and thriving arts ecosystem, the Blanton is proud to support other Texas institutions in serving their communities, while also preserving this important collection of Texas art for future generations.”

In 2013, the Contemporary Austin received a $9 million gift from the Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation, which prompted it to rethink its mission. The institution ultimately decided to expand its fourteen-acre sculpture park and to gift works from its collection, which was assembled in the 1960s by the Texas Fine Arts Association, the Laguna Gloria Art Museum, and the Austin Museum of Art, to the Blanton, where they can be on display more frequently since the Contemporary Austin’s exhibition space is only eight thousand square feet. 

The Blanton incorporated two hundred works into its permanent collection, including pieces by Polly Apfelbaum, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Michael Ray Charles, and Dario Robleto. Among the museums receiving the remaining five hundred works are the Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont; the Longview Museum of Fine Arts at the Museum of Texas Tech University in Lubbock; the Nancy Fyfe Cardozier Gallery at the University of Texas Permian Basin in Odessa; and the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts.

Louis Grachos, executive director and CEO of the Contemporary Austin, said, “Further transferring select works to collecting institutions across the state will extend the legacy collection’s impact immeasurably, ensuring that the art works are properly cared for, studied, and enjoyed by thousands of visitors for many years.”

The full list of institutions receiving works is as follows:

Amarillo Museum of Art
Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont
Art Museum of South Texas, affiliated with Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi
Grace Museum, Abilene
International Museum of Art & Science, McAllen
Kerr Arts and Cultural Center, Kerrville
Longview Museum of Fine Arts
Museum of Texas Tech University, Lubbock
Nancy Fyfe Cardozier Gallery at the University of Texas Permian Basin, Odessa
Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts, Spring
Regional Arts Center, Texarkana
San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts
Texas State Galleries at Texas State University, San Marcos
Tyler Museum of Art
Visual Arts Gallery at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Brownsville
Wichita Falls Museum of Art at Midwestern State University
Wittliff Collections at Texas State University, San Marcos

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