Blanton Museum receives $1 million for new building

May 20, 2002

AUSTIN, Texas—Jessie Otto Hite, Director of the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin today announced two gifts of $500,000 each for the construction of the museum's new facility. Given by Jack S. Blanton and an anonymous donor, these gifts represent the first received toward completion of the Education, Visitor Services, and Administration Building. With myriad spaces for teaching and learning, the Education Building will support the museum's outreach to a range of audiences including university students and faculty, the general public, families, and schoolchildren from throughout the state.

"I am thrilled to be helping make the new Blanton Museum of Art facility a reality," said Jack S. Blanton, Houston philanthropist and businessman. "In particular, I recognize the need for special places within and surrounding the art museum to foster both formal and informal educational experiences and bring people together for meaningful social interactions. The Blanton's Education Building is just this kind of place and is the perfect way to support the museum's mission to serve UT, the city of Austin, and all of Texas."

Scheduled to open in 2005, the new Blanton Museum of Art will be located at the southern edge of the UT campus, near the heart of the city at Martin Luther King Boulevard and Congress Avenue, where it will serve as a gateway between the University and the city and state. The museum will be comprised of two buildings, a 100,000 square foot Gallery Building, and a 35,000 square foot Education, Visitor Services, and Administration Building. These two buildings will face each other across an open pedestrian passageway and civic plaza that will serve as a gathering place for both students and the general public.

The Gallery Building will house the Blanton's permanent collection of more than 14,000 works of art, galleries for temporary exhibitions, a print and drawing study center, and collection care and storage areas. The Education Building will provide a range of educational and social spaces that are critical to the Blanton's mission as a teaching resource and a gathering place for cultural enrichment. These spaces will include:

  • 299-seat auditorium for films, concerts, performances, and lectures
  • Hands-on learning classroom for school children and families
  • 60-seat lecture hall for orientation, classes, and seminars
  • Seminar room for classes of up to 30 students
  • Docent and educator's resource room
  • Elegant café for lunch or dinner after a museum visit
  • Gift shop with unique art related gifts, books, and jewelry
  • Dramatic special events space seating 300 for dinner or 500 for cocktails, with floor to ceiling windows offering expansive views of the Capitol
  • Museum administrative, curatorial, and education staff offices

To date the Blanton has $58.5 million in private and public support that will fully fund the construction of the Gallery Building, and $24 million in additional funds is needed for completion of the Education Building.

For further information contact: Nicole Chism Griffin, Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, 512-232-1988.