There have been plans to open the Blanton Museum as long as I’ve lived in Austin (nine years), and this weekend, it finally happened. The University of Texas hosted a special preview reception on Friday night before the massive grand opening (24 straight hours of events) kicks off Saturday evening. Jarren and I attended, and had a great time sampling some of the diverse work of this new space. What some may not realize is that Austin hasn’t had a bonafide Art Museum of this size, collecting some 17,000 works from Renaissance and Baroque, to the exceedingly modern (including some very cool video installations). To get our art fix, we’d have to find time in Houston or Dallas. While the collections in those cities are still miles ahead of what you’ll find at the Blanton thus far, I’m anxious to see how the new museum continues to grow, add, and host touring exhibits.
At the reception Friday night, local art fans and socialites mingled and peeked while sipping on “Blantinis” (yes, they were orange). It’s really nice to have a spot in Central Austin where we can now just spend a quiet Sunday afternoon surrounded by pieces of great work. Robert Faires at The Austin Chronicle recently offered up this preview of the new museum, including some behind-the-scenes photos.