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Blanton Museum Gifted Seventy-Six Artworks by Ellsworth Kelly

Above: Ellsworth Kelly’s “Romanesque Series,” 1973–76, which were gifted to the Blanton by the artist. Photo: Ellsworth Kelly Foundation.
Above: Ellsworth Kelly’s “Romanesque Series,” 1973–76, which were gifted to the Blanton by the artist. Photo: Ellsworth Kelly Foundation.

AUSTIN, TEXAS—The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin has received seventy-six works of art by Ellsworth Kelly through various donations from the late artist and Jack Shear, president of the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation; television producer Douglas S. Cramer; longtime art collectors Jan and Howard Hendler; Blanton national leadership board members Jeanne and Michael Klein; and philanthropist and collector David G. Booth.

The gift consists of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints spanning Kelly’s seven-decade career. The majority of the works provide additional context for Austin, Kelly’s 2,715-square-foot stone building, which opened at the Blanton in February 2018. Kelly envisioned Austin—which features features luminous colored glass windows, a totemic wood sculpture, and fourteen black and white marble panels—as a site for joy and contemplation. Since it opened, more than 150,000 people have visited the structure. Other works donated include pieces that date from the formative period the artist spent in France, between 1948 and 1954.

“Not only do these works complement and enhance visitors’ understanding of Austin—now a cornerstone of the Blanton’s collection—but they also help to strengthen the museum’s role as a center for the study and appreciation of Kelly’s work,” Blanton’s director Simone Wicha said in a statement. “The Blanton is deeply grateful to the individuals, including Ellsworth Kelly and Jack Shear, who are supporting the museum’s ongoing commitment to building a world-class collection of works by Kelly and continuing to celebrate the artist’s great legacy.”

June 4, 2019