At 180,000 total square feet, the renowned Blanton Museum of Art, operated by the University of Texas at Austin, is the largest university art museum complex in the United States. But the museum's size isn't its only impressive asset - its expansive collection of 17,000 European, Latin American, American, and contemporary work is regarded as one of the most comprehensive collections of its kind.
Museum highlights include the Suida-Manning Collection of 230 paintings and 400 drawings in the Renaissance and Baroque style, as well as the Latin American collection of more than 1,800 pieces from over 600 artists from Mexico, South and Central America, and the Caribbean. The museum's collection of modern and contemporary American art includes more than 4,000 paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, and new media dating from the mid-19th century to the present.
The $83.5 million Blanton Museum complex, which opened in 2006, features the 124,000-square-foot Mari and James A. Michener Gallery Building and 56,000-square-foot Edgar A. Smith Building. The Michener Gallery houses the permanent collection and temporary exhibits, while the Smith Building is home to the museum cafe, shop, classrooms, auditorium, and offices. The Blanton Museum's spacious 145,000-square-foot public plaza and garden is lined by 100 cedar and elm trees that perfectly frame the plaza's view of the Texas Capitol dome.
The light-filled, sleek, and modern Blanton Museum of Art is the perfect venue for private events. Museum rental spaces include the Osborne Seminar Room, with space for up to 40 people, as well as the breathtaking, elegant Rapoport Atrium, which features a 50-foot-tall ceiling, several skylights, and space for up to 300 people. The entire Michener Gallery Building can also be rented for up to 500 guests.
The Blanton Museum of Art is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The monthly event known as B Scene, held the first Friday of each month, features open exhibitions, cocktails and live music from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm. Public gallery tours are offered every Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm, Thursday at 12:30 pm and at 7:00 pm and during each month's B Scene Event. Admission to the Blanton Museum of Art is $3 for guests ages 13-21 and $7 for adults. Admission for children under 12 is free. Thursday admission is free for all visitors.