Blanton Museum Gets $10 Million Latin American Art Collection

The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, Austin. Photo by Benjamin Sutton.
The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, Austin. Photo by Benjamin Sutton.

Houston power couple and collectors Charles and Judy Tate have donated a whopping 120 works of contemporary and modern art from Latin America to the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, Austin. They also donated $1 million to endow a position for a curator of Latin American art, the Houston Chronicle reports.

The Tates are alumni of UT Austin, and always intended to give their collection to the school’s museum, Charles told the Chronicle. “Latin art is not terribly well understood, and one of the Blanton’s greatest contributions has been educating people,” he added. He is the founder and chairman of Capital Royalty, LP, a private equity firm that specializes in healthcare industry investments.

The Tates’ gift includes works by Lygia Clark, Wifredo Lam, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Alejandro Xul Solar. This major boost to the Blanton’s collection caps an eight-year fundraising campaign for the university, which has generated an incredible $3 billion in donations.

“It’s transformative in a very significant way,” Simone Wicha, the Blanton’s director, told the Chronicle. “You can have a great collection, but without the talent to manage it you can’t put it to work.”

The Tates’ gift is the largest to the Blanton since it established a Latin American art collection. Its holdings now number over 2,200 artworks.

The inaugural Charles and Judy Tate Curator of Latin American Art, Beverly Adams, started working at the Blanton in January. Among her first endeavors at the institution has been to curate La línea continua, an exhibition drawing on works donated by the Tates, which opens on September 20.

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