The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas and the Contemporary Austin have agreed to a transfer through which the Blanton has acquired 700 works while the Contemporary shifts the focus of its future acquisition efforts solely to outdoor sculpture. The works in various mediums—everything in the Contemporary’s collection except for works of outdoor sculpture—include photographs, works on paper, and prints by many Texan artists (Donald Judd, Terry Allen, Robert Rauschenberg, Margo Sawyer, and more) as well as the likes of Lee Friedlander, Alex Katz, Jacob Lawrence, Ed Ruscha, and Richard Serra.
The Contemporary Austin will focus all future acquisition efforts on the outdoor grounds of its Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria, while the museum continues to host temporary exhibitions in its main building in downtown Austin.
In a statement, Louis Grachos, the Contemporary Austin’s executive director and CEO, said, “I feel confident that this transfer reflects the best, most ethically sound manner in which to secure the future of this rich collection.”
The Blanton Museum—currently home to shows featuring Nina Katchadourian and ancient Indian painting as well as the future site for Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin, a chapel-like structure gifted by the artist and scheduled to open in February 2018—will add the Contemporary’s works to its collection of ages-spanning art from around the world. About the influx of new works, Blanton Museum director Simone Wicha said, “This transfer will enhance the Blanton’s contemporary collection . . . while also ensuring proper long-term stewardship of the works and enjoyment by future generations.”