Monday, January 21, 2019

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Austin’s Blanton Museum is Free on Thursdays

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Looking for something to do in Austin for free? The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin is free every Thursday as it provides inspiring and relevant experiences with original works of art. Through the collecting of art, preserving it in optimal condition, and creatively displaying and interpreting these objects, The Blanton serves as an intellectual and social portal connecting the university and the rest of the world through visual art and culture.

The art museum of The University of Texas at Austin was born of a generous gift from an unexpected source. In 1927 Archer M. Huntington, a New Yorker and the son of railroad magnate Collis P. Huntington, donated four thousand acres of land in Galveston, Texas, to the university with instructions that it “be dedicated to the support of an art museum.” His interest seems to have stemmed from the fact that his wife, Anna Hyatt Huntington, was a noted sculptor; indeed two of her works had recently been given to the university. The proceeds from the eventual sale of that land created an endowment for museum operations and provided a portion of the cost for the construction in 1963 of a new building for the art department of the university, including some gallery space that was formally named the University Art Museum.

A number of important collecting areas quickly took shape during the 1960s and 1970s. One well-known acquisition began with the gift in 1968, continuing into the early 1990s, of approximately four hundred twentieth-century American paintings from novelist James Michener and his wife, Mari, for whom the Blanton’s new gallery building is named. The Micheners’ interest in collecting the art of their time and in supporting the work of emerging artists continues to be an important guiding principle for ongoing development of our contemporary collections.

With continuing growth came the vision of an expanded home for the Huntington. In late 1994 a bequest of $5 million by Mari Michener for the construction of a new museum building lent momentum to a building campaign. When Houston Endowment Inc. stepped forward in 1997 with a $12 million building gift in honor of its former chairman, the Huntington became the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art

Blanton Museum of Art
MLK at Congress (200 East MLK )
Austin, Texas 78701

Main number (recorded message) : (512) 471-7324
Front Desk: (512) 471-5482

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