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Installation view of the Spanish Americas galleries at the Blanton Museum of Art, the University of Texas at Austin.

Thoma Foundation Underwrites Curatorial Position at Blanton Museum of Art

The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin was gifted $2 million from the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation to establish a permanent endowment for a curatorial position devoted to art of the Spanish Americas. It is the first endowed position at the museum. The post is currently filled by Rosario I. Granados.

“This visionary endowment will sustain and elevate the Blanton’s role as a hub for interdisciplinary collaboration, research, and programming around Spanish American art on the UT Austin campus,” Blanton director Simone Wicha said. “To have the position fully endowed in perpetuity establishes the Blanton as the leading institution for the study of Spanish American art and visual culture, guaranteeing that this meaningful work will continue for years to come.”

The university is home to one of the oldest Latin American studies programs in the United States. The Blanton began exhibiting art from the Spanish Americas in the late 1960s. In 2016, the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation made a three-year grant to support the program’s curatorial and scholarly research and loaned works to the museum from its collection. Since then, the Blanton has been gifted eighty-three works from colonial-era Venezuela from the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and purchased 119 works from the Huber Collection earlier this year.

The Thomas have been involved with the museum for over a decade and are active members of the Blanton national leadership board. Marilynn Thoma praised the museum’s scholarship on art from the Spanish and Portuguese Americas. “The Blanton has demonstrated meaningful and sustained commitment to the study of the history of art of Latin America,” she said. “Carl and I are proud to grow our relationship with the museum by endowing this position. Rosario is a devoted scholar, and we look forward to following her continued contributions to the field.”