AUSTIN, Texas—The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin will open to the public on April 30, 2006, allowing time to calibrate and test the sophisticated systems that will safeguard the works of art that will be presented and stored in the new museum’s Michener Gallery Building.
View of the new Blanton Museum of Art from the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.
|Photo: Marsha Miller|
The opening date for the first of two buildings that will compose the new museum complex has been shifted by two months. The building project remains on budget, and the Blanton has raised more than $78 million in private and public funds toward its goal of $83.5 million.
The Gallery Building and an adjoining public plaza, already fully funded, will open to the public in April, while the Education and Visitor Pavilion is still on schedule for early 2007.
Construction is in an advanced stage, and remaining work mainly consists of finishing touches, testing mechanical systems and installing the Blanton’s distinguished collection. Prior to the start of art installation in any new museum, the heating, venting and air conditioning system must be tested thoroughly to ensure it is functioning to the highest standards.
“Museums are among the most demanding buildings to construct because of the wide variety of systems they require,” said Larry R. Faulkner, president of The University of Texas at Austin. “The building must maintain a delicate balance of temperature and humidity to protect irreplaceable works of art while accommodating hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. All of us are eager to experience the new museum, but prudence requires that we take these final steps with full care.”
“The entire university and Austin community have been waiting so eagerly for their new museum, it is disappointing to have to delay our opening for another two months,” said Director Jessie Otto Hite. “However, when creating a world-class facility which will provide extraordinary art experiences for generations to come, it’s our responsibility not to rush, to get everything just right and to ensure the well-being of these exceptional works of art.”
Blanton Museum of Art
The Blanton Museum of Art is one of the foremost university art museums in the country and the leading art museum serving Austin and Central Texas. The Blanton’s permanent collection of more than 17,000 works is recognized for its Old Master paintings, modern and contemporary American and Latin American art, and an encyclopedic collection of prints and drawings. As the only art museum in Austin with a permanent collection of substantial range and depth, the Blanton serves multiple audiences, offering a wide range of special exhibitions and public programs while developing teaching, research and educational initiatives. As the art museum of The University of Texas at Austin, a flagship institution of higher learning in Texas, the Blanton enriches the cultural life of the state. In April 2006 the Blanton enters a new era in its new home, which brings the museum’s collections, programs and visitor amenities together under one roof for the first time.
For more information contact: Sheree Scarborough, Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, 512-475-6784; Natalie Hoch and Kim Gilbert, Resnicow Schroeder Associates, 212-671-5170 and 212-671-5157.