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Winter Break Guide to the Arts on Campus

The Forty Acres has art exhibits across campus that appeal to aficionados and casual observers alike. 

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Check out what’s going on this winter break at the Blanton Museum of Art, the Harry Ransom Center and the Landmarks public art project spread across campus. 

The Blanton Museum of Art

The Blanton
Blanton Museum of Art 200 East Martin Luther King Blvd. (MLK at Congress)
Hours Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, 1 – 5 p.m.
Holiday Closures In addition to being closed every Monday, the Blanton will be closed Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1.
UT faculty, students, staff: Free
Blanton Members: Free
Adults: $9
Seniors (65+): $7
College students with valid ID: $5
Youth (13-21): $5
Children 12 and under: Free

If you’re looking to get lost in the tranquil halls of a world-class museum, the Blanton Museum of Art is the place to go in Austin. One of the leading university art museums in the country, the Blanton’s permanent collection of more than 17,000 works is renowned for its European paintings, an encyclopedic collection of prints and drawings, and modern and contemporary American and Latin American art. In addition to the permanent installations, the Blanton will be showcasing two traveling exhibits this holiday season.

Moderno: Design for Living in Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela, 1940–1978

On view through Jan. 17, 2016.


Tenreiro (1947) print flat. Part of the Moderno exhibit at the Blanton Museum of Art. Image courtesy of the Blanton Museum of Art.

Organized by the Americas Society in New York, Moderno is the first exhibit to examine how Latin American interior design transformed during the late 20th century.

Sheltered from the overall destruction and disarray of World War II, many Latin American countries entered an expansive period of economic growth and artistic activity in the late 1940s through the 1950s. Modernism was viewed as a fitting and progressive style — particularly for Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela — and domestic design was endorsed as an agent for development and vehicle for innovation. By encouraging “a modern way of living” as an ideology, Latin American governments leveraged the movement to further their goals of modernizing the region’s major cities. As a result, a new crop of Latin American artists, architects and designers emerged, including a large number of women. National art scenes flourished, new design vocabularies were invented and designers began to see themselves as active players in the creation of modern national identities.

The presentation features over 130 works, including furniture, ceramics, metalwork, textiles and graphic design by Lina Bo Bardi, Clara Porset, Miguel Arroyo and others.

The Crusader Bible: A Gothic Masterpiece

On view through April 3, 2016.


“Saul Defeats The Ammonites” part of The Crusader Bible on display at the Blanton Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of the Blanton Museum of Art.

The Crusader Bible: A Gothic Masterpiece showcases more than 40 unbound pages from the one of the most celebrated French illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages.

On loan from the Morgan Library and Museum in New York, the Crusader Bible features Old Testament scenes in medieval settings, with brilliantly colored illustrations. The compelling visualizations of the Old Testament, bring Bible stories to life through vivid images that reflect medieval culture and the world of the Crusades. Designed to resonate with 13th-century French viewers, biblical characters are depicted as battling knights, equipped with contemporary arms and armor, and situated within medieval French towns.

Alongside the Christian perspective reflected in the Morgan’s manuscript, the exhibition offers Muslim and Jewish viewpoints on biblical narratives, revealed through Persian illustrations of the story of Joseph from the Metropolitan’s collection and in the manuscript of Esther and Ahasuerus from the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Ardashīr-nāma. Collectively, the works serve as a powerful reminder of the common roots of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and underscore the complex intersection between the politics, culture and religion of the period.

The Harry Ransom Center

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo’s Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird at the Harry Ransom Center. Photo courtesy of the Harry Ransom Center.
Harry Ransom Center 300 West 21st Street (21st and Guadalupe)
Hours Monday – Wednesday, Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thursday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday, noon – 5 p.m.
Holiday Closures The HRC will be closed Dec. 24, 25 and Jan. 1.
Cost Admission is free. Your donation supports the Ransom Center’s exhibitions and public programs.

Explore the arts and humanities at the Harry Ransom Center, with cultural materials like the Gutenberg Bible and the First Photograph on permanent display, and the current exhibition celebrating Shakespeare and his plays.

Frida Kahlo’s “Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird.”

On view through Dec. 31, 2015.

In the Ransom Center lobby, visitors can see Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s “Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird.” The Ransom Center celebrates the homecoming of this famous and frequently borrowed work of art. The painting was most recently on view at the New York Botanical Garden’s exhibition, “FRIDA KAHLO: Art, Garden, Life,” which had record-breaking attendance of more than 525,000 visitors.

Shakespeare in Print and Performance at HRC

Image courtesy of the Harry Ransom Center.

Shakespeare in Print and Performance

On view Dec. 21, 2015 – May 29, 2016.

No writer is more central to the English literary tradition than William Shakespeare. For centuries, his works have intrigued and inspired generations of readers, audiences and scholars. Four hundred years after his death, the Harry Ransom Center commemorates Shakespeare’s legacy by presenting a selection of rare and unique materials relating to his plays. These materials, primarily drawn from the Ransom Center’s collections, demonstrate how much we can learn about his historical context, sources, texts and productions of the plays from early printed books and theatrical archives.

Landmarks Public Art

Detail of Mark di Suvero, Clock Knot, 2007

Detail of Mark di Suvero, Clock Knot, 2007 Photo courtesy of Landmarks.

Stroll around campus to soak in some of the works on display as part of the Landmarks public art program, which helps turn the 350-acre campus into a “campus-wide classroom” with colorful, creative art providing visual anchors at gateways, accentuating main axis corridors and consolidating architectural edges.

The Landmarks pieces on campus include the large Clock Knot sculpture at the intersection of Dean Keeton and Speedway, the dramatic Monochrome for Austin by Nancy Rubins at Speedway and 24th Street and other eye-catching projects. Though some of the Landmarks pieces are displayed inside campus buildings that may close at times during the winter break, some of the best-known works are in open air for visitors to see any time.

Take a self-guided tour using a public art campus map or a mobile device. From the Landmarks mobile website, visitors can access an interactive map, listen to audio guides and read artist information from individual collection pages, all while viewing the collection. For information about parking, visit the Parking and Transportation Services website, check out the campus parking map and look for special-events parking updates.