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Campus Exhibits: A Visitor’s Guide

Bring your family and friends to campus this holiday season. From fine art and Tibetan monks to a design icon and the refurbished LBJ Library…it’s all waiting for you!

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It’s the most wonderful time of the yearwhen you have to figure out ways to entertain and amuse visiting family and friends.

Before you resort to back-to-back screenings of your most recent vacation videos, make a date to stimulate your curiosity and intellect with a visit to an exhibit or two on campus at The University of Texas at Austin. Read on for hours and exhibit information.

Blanton Museum of Art

before and after images from Restoration and Revelation exhibit

During the cleaning of a 17th-century painting attributed to the follower of Simon Vouet, two figures that had been hidden for centuries were revealed. The newly seen figures allowed scholars to identify the subject as Danaë from Greek mythology, accompanied by a putto and Zeus, the god of the sky. [Follower of Simon Vouet Danaë, 17th century (before and after cleaning), oil on canvas, 93.4 cm x 128.4 cm (36 3/4 in. x 50 9/16 in.), The Suida-Manning Collection.] 

2012 Holiday Hours:
The Blanton Museum of Art will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Otherwise, the museum and Museum Shop will be open normal operating hours: Tuesday Friday, 10 a.m. 5 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 5 p.m. Thursday is free admission day and the museum is open until 9 p.m. on the Third Thursday of each month. Admission is free to members, all current UT ID-holders and children under age 12; $9 for adults; $7 for seniors; $5 for college students with ID; and $5 for youth (ages 13-25). For information call 512-471-7324 or visit blantonmuseum.org/visit.

Restoration and Revelation: Conserving the Suida-Manning Collection

A presentation that puts the preservation of Old Master paintings and drawings from the 16th through 18th centuries under a metaphorical microscope, underscoring how the convergence of art and science can lead to new knowledge about artworks and their makers.

Asian art conservator Ephraim Jose works on a Tibetan Buddhist thangka he conserved for the Blanton

Internationally renowned Asian art conservator Ephraim Jose works on a Tibetan Buddhist thangka he conserved for the Blanton’s “Into the Sacred City” exhibition. 

Into the Sacred City: Tibetan Buddhist Deities from the Theos Bernard Collection

In a presentation exclusive to the Blanton, see eight rare and never-before publicly exhibited Tibetan Buddhist artworks from the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

The Rules of Basketball: Works by Paul Pfeiffer and James Naismith’s ‘Original Rules of Basket Ball’

Works by contemporary artist Paul Pfeiffer are presented in conversation with James Naismith’s “Original Rules of Basket Ball” the 1891 document that outlined the 13 original rules of the game. This unique pairing considers basketball from a historical perspective, while exploring the phenomena and spectacle that surround it.

William Hogarth: Proceed with Caution

A selection of prints on virtue and vice by William Hogarth, noted English satirist, from the artist’s important 18th-century series inspired by the complexities of life in London.

Special programs:

Holiday Family Days: What’s Old is New Again
Friday, Dec. 28 and Saturday, Dec. 29, 11 a.m. 4 p.m.
Explore the science of art conservation and how the materials used to make art can be tricky to preserve. Enjoy family tours, games, and hands-on activities that allow you to see art in a new way.

Sand Mandala Project
Wednesday, Jan. 9 Sunday, Jan. 13
Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery construct a sand mandala in the Blanton’s atrium, using millions of grains of sand. Construction and related events will take place during museum hours. Visit BlantonMuseum.org for details.

Harry Ransom Center

2012 Holiday Hours:
The Ransom Center Galleries are closed Mondays, as well as Dec. 24, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Otherwise, the galleries are open Tuesday  Friday, 10 a.m. 5 p.m., with extended Thursday hours until 7 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays the galleries are open noon  5 p.m. Admission is free.

Free, docent-led tours are offered every Tuesday at noon and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. For a schedule of upcoming tours or for information on scheduling a group tour, please visit http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/events/tours.html.

I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America (on view through Jan. 6)

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Norman Bel Geddes, Motor Car No. 9 (with tail fin), ca. 1933. Image courtesy of the Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Foundation. 

Norman Bel Geddes (18931958) was an innovative stage and industrial designer, futurist and urban planner who, more than any designer of his era, created and promoted a dynamic vision of the future streamlined, technocratic and optimistic. Bel Geddes popularized this vision through drawings, models and photographs of spectacular vehicles, buildings and products featured in his books Horizons and Magic Motorways. His most notable effort was his Futurama display for the General Motors “Highways and Horizons” exhibit at the 19391940 New York World’s Fair, which adopted the motto “I Have Seen the Future.” Futurama’s giant model of a 1960 future American city gave Depression-era Americans genuine hope for a better future within their lifetimes.

The exhibition explores the career of this complex and influential man through approximately 60 projects from the Ransom Center’s Bel Geddes collection. The exhibition brings together never-before-exhibited drawings, models, photographs and films.

LBJ Library

2012 Holiday Hours:
The Library will be closed Dec. 25. Otherwise it is open daily, 9 a.m.  5 p.m.

A replica of the Oval Office at the LBJ Presidential Library is being refurbished.

Oval Office replica under construction. LBJ Library Photo by Lauren Gerson 

On Saturday, Dec. 22, in honor of Lady Bird Johnson’s 100th birthday, the LBJ Presidential Library will unveil innovative, state-of-the art exhibits giving visitors a contemporary experience relating to one of the most significant presidents and eras in U.S. history.

In keeping with President and Mrs. Johnson’s commitment to transparency and objectivity, the new exhibits will showcase materials from the archives and museum collections that have never before been seen. Following a massive yearlong renovation, new exhibits have been installed on the three public floors of the Library and include features such as:

  • A downloadable app and handheld guide which give visitors the choice of several different tours, including a tour in Spanish
  • Unprecedented access to private telephone conversations of the President
  • An interactive Vietnam War exhibit where visitors experience elements of the President’s decision-making process
  • The ability to join the conversation through social media as visitors tour exhibits
  • An interactive look at how legislation passed under LBJ affects visitors today
  • New theaters and films on President Johnson, civil rights, LBJ’s legacy and the First Family

Texas Memorial Museum

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Soaring through the Great Hall of the Texas Memorial Museum is the pterosaur, the largest flying creature ever discovered. It lived in what is now Big Bend National Park, in West Texas, about 65 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous Period. Its wingspan is about 40 feet. 

2012 Holiday Hours:
The Texas Memorial Museum will be closed Dec. 24, Dec. 25, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Otherwise, the museum is open Monday Thursday, 9 a.m. 5 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. 4:45 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.  4:45 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 4:45 p.m.

Exhibits focus on dinosaurs and fossils, Texas wildlife, gems and minerals and a working Paleontology Lab where visitors can interact with scientists as they prepare fossil finds. Spotlighted in the exhibits are spectacular specimens found in Texas, including the largest flying creature ever found the Texas Pterosaur  and the 30-foot Mosasaur that swam the shallow sea that once covered most of the state.


Clock Knot, the 41-foot-tall sculpture by Mark di Suvero.

The monumental sculpture Clock Knot by Mark di Suvero exemplifies the power of public art to transform the university’s landscape. Located on the northeast corner of Dean Keeton and Speedway, Clock Knot stands 41 feet tall and is on long-term loan to the university, courtesy of the artist, Spacetime C.C. and Paula Cooper Gallery. 

Landmarks is the public art program of The University of Texas at Austin. Its collection includes 28 pieces on long-term loan from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as permanent commissions by renowned contemporary artists, such as Ben Rubin, Sol LeWitt and James Turrell.

Access additional information, self-guided audio tours and an interactive map on the Landmarks website. You can also learn about Landmarks using the free UT iPhone app under the Landmarks icon. To see some of the highlights in one convenient location, visit Bass Concert Hall, the home of 10 notable sculptures on loan from The Metropolitan Museum of Art.