Overview Of Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art

The BMA or Jack S Blanton Museum Of Art in Austin TX is among the largest art museums of its kind in America. The museum measures 189,340 sq. feet and boasts an art collection size of 18,000 pieces. The university museum houses permanent collection galleries, temporary exhibitions, storage, classrooms, administrative offices, an auditorium, print study room, cafe, and shop.

Jack. S Blanton Museum has significant art holdings that include but isn’t limited to Latin American art, modern art, contemporary art, and old master paintings. Other notable art includes conceptual art, minimalism, and post-minimalism.

Brief History

Jack S Blanton Museum was established in 1963 by UT Austin (University of Texas) at Austin to house the Art Department. Donald Goodall served as the first director. By 1972, most of the museum’s art collection moved to Harry Ransom Humanities Center. In 1979, Eric McCready became the second director and served for 14 years. Jessie Otto was appointed as the third director in 1993.

Shortly after, the university was gifted $5 million by Mari Yoriko Sabusawa to construct a museum complex for hosting the museum’s collections permanently. In 1997, a $12 million donation from Houston Endowment (in honor of their current chairman Jack Blaton) prompted a campaign to construct a new museum building. Construction started in 2003.


The new museum gallery building was opened officially to the public in 2006. Another education and admin building (Edgar Smith Building) was opened in 2008. The building covers 56,000 sq. Feet. In 2009, Blanton Museum welcomed another director, Ned Rifkin, who served until 2011, paving the way for Simone Wicha.

The museum is preparing for exterior renovations meant to transform the grounds and plaza. The development efforts were announced in February 2019 after the museum received a gift ($20 million) from Moody Foundation aimed at funding development and free admission every Thursday.

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