Blanton Museum of Art
Hitting the Lone Star art jackpot
Everybody loves winning the lottery, even museums. And while the Blanton Museum of Art's recent score doesn't approach Mega Millions levels, it's pretty sweet: a dozen contemporary works by Texas artists, including a 1987 painting by 2011 Texas State Visual Artist 2D Melissa Miller and a mixed-media work by San Antonio art icon Jesse Amado.
The lottery was held by the Dallas Museum of Art as a way to share the wealth of its bounteous holdings of Lone Star art. Collectors Nona and Richard Barrett amassed an amazing amount of Texas art in the Eighties and Nineties – hundreds of works from the end of the 19th century to the present, representing virtually every major artist and movement across the state. Over the past 15 years, the philanthropic couple has donated much of the collection to the DMA and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston – so much, in fact, that the museums couldn't absorb it all, so they came up with the idea of spreading that Texas treasure throughout the state by regifting some of the collection to other Lone Star visual arts institutions. The MFAH redistributed some of the art by lottery in 2003, and this year the DMA followed suit. Invitations were sent to the Blanton, the Austin Museum of Art, the Old Jail Art Center in Albany, and a number of other museums to choose works for their collections, and when the order of selection was determined, the Blanton truly had the luck of the draw: It got to choose first. That's how it obtained Miller's One Rabbit Feeling the Pain of Another, which will nicely complement Zebras and Hyenas, Miller's 1985 oil which is already in the Blanton's holdings and a favorite of museum visitors. The other choices include work by Dixie Friend Gay, Linnea Glatt, Bill Haveron, Sharon Kopriva, Augie Kuyowa N'Kele, and Luanne Stovall. The first work to be displayed will be Amado's untitled piece, which will be shown with his 1995 installation I Pray, Then I Play in the Collective Landscape, starting Aug. 19 in the Blanton's Lowe Gallery. For more information, visit www.blantonmuseum.org.