Boasting a collection of more than eighteen thousand objects, the museum comprises three buildings: the Michener Gallery Building, which holds the museum's collection and galleries; the Edgar A. Smith Building, which serves as the museum's administrative center and includes the museum shop, cafe, and auditorium; and Ellsworth Kelly's Austin, a 2,715-square-foot limestone building featuring thirty-three mouth-blown glass windows and fourteen black-and-white marble panels. The only building Kelly ever designed, Austin is widely regarded as the pinnacle of his career.
The gift will be used to transform the currently underutilized outdoor space surrounding the three buildings to provide greater flexibility and allow the museum to host more outdoor programming. The project coincides with phase one of the Texas Capitol Complex Master Plan, a state-driven redevelopment initiative that will create a pedestrian-oriented "Texas Mall" on North Congress Avenue between 16th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Established in 1963 and located on the University of Texas at Austin campus, the Blanton Museum is recognized for its modern and contemporary American and Latin American art, Italian Renaissance and Baroque paintings, and encyclopedic collection of prints and drawings.
"The Blanton collections inspire thousands of scholars, students, and art lovers from around the world to visit our city and university each year. With a beautifully reimagined exterior, the Blanton will continue to expand its reputation as one of the premier destinations for fine art in Texas," said University of Texas at Austin president Gregory L. Fenves. "Thank you to the foundation's trustees — Elle Moody, Ross Moody, and Francie Moody-Dahlberg — for their vision, generosity, and steadfast support for the arts."