The Blanton Goes for Gold

Blanton Museum of Art at University of Texas in Austin

Catherine D. Anspon
January 22, 2013

On Saturday, February 16, the Blanton Museum of Art at University of Texas in Austin marks a milestone. The country’s largest university museum hits a half-century and celebrates with both an exhibition and a black-tie bash (PaperCity is media sponsor). The museum is the site of the big-ticket fête, as well as a Gold a Go-Go After Party. Tapped as honorary gala chairs are retired UT prez Larry Faulkner and former Blanton director Jessie Hite — two influencers who shaped the reborn Blanton’s $83.5 million building (unveiled 2006) and its holdings, such as the Italian Old Master canvases and works on paper that comprise the Suida-Manning Collection of Renaissance and Baroque art. Twenty-two regional chairs have stepped forward, including mega-collectors Cindy and Howard Rachofsky; fellow Dallas denizens Patty and James Huffines; Austin’s astute Jeanne and Mickey Klein; and Suzanne Deal Booth (who gifted the James Turrell skyspace that graces Rice University) and husband David Booth. With tables of 10 priced from $10,000 to $100,000 and sponsorship tickets at $1,500, this soirée, mounted in the Blanton’s 124,000-square-foot Michener Building, will lure the big boys and girls of the art contingent to support the museum’s ever-expanding mission. (Its 17,000 artworks include the Suida-Manning cache; American gems such as Jerry Bywaters’ Oil Field Girls, acquired by a bequest from late scribe James A. Michener and wife Mari; modernist and contemporary Latin American holdings; and the only encyclopedic print collection in Texas.) The party includes an exclusive preview of “Through the Eyes of Texas: Masterworks from Alumni Collections,” organized by Blanton curator Annette DiMeo Carlozzi — a look at the acquisition acumen of UT grads. The exhibition boasts art across the millennia, from Monet to pre-Raphaelite canvases, the Egyptians, Mayans and Romans to Rauschenberg, plus Janine Antoni’s portrait busts in soap and chocolate that riff on antiquity. (Public opening February 24, through May 19.) Blanton Museum of Art Golden Anniversary Gala in Austin, Saturday, February 16; tickets 512.475.6013;