New Director's Excellence Fund Will Support Blanton Reinstallation Initiative

AUSTIN, Texas  The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin is establishing the Judy and Charles Tate Director's Excellence Fund to help underwrite reinstallation of the museum's permanent collection. Supported by earnings from the Longhorn Network, which also supports seven endowed academic chairs on campus, the $1 million fund is named in honor of UT alumni Judy and Charles Tate, longtime champions of the Blanton and the university. The Tates recently gave their collection of modern and contemporary Latin American art to the museum.

"Judy and Charles Tate have been critical to The University of Texas' success on multiple fronts," said Bill Powers, president of the university. "It's my honor to be able to recognize them in this way. Creating the Tate Director's Excellence Fund will ensure that their generosity will continue to be leveraged in the most strategic way and that the Blanton Museum of Art's commitment to excellence will continue to be fulfilled."

Monies from the fund will partially underwrite a reinstallation of the Blanton's permanent collection. A top priority of Blanton Director Simone Wicha's, the project involves rehanging the museum's holdings, including the installation of several never-before or rarely seen works of art.  It also includes the development of new models of interpretation and in-gallery labels, information panels and other materials designed to enhance visitors' understanding and appreciation of the Blanton's nearly 18,000 works of art. In addition, the funds will help underwrite projects aimed at increasing the visibility of the Blanton on a national scale.

"We are grateful to President Powers and the Longhorn Network for this gift," Wicha said. "This fund enables us to do the important work of re-envisioning the installation of our galleries, providing visitors opportunities to experience our permanent collection in fresh and innovative ways. The Blanton's holdings serve as a vital resource for students, scholars and members of the Austin community, and we are thrilled to have the museum's curators and educators reinterpret our collection, giving it the spotlight it deserves."

The Blanton's newly reinstalled galleries are scheduled to reopen in spring 2017.