Blanton Museum announces major initiative in Spanish colonial art



Highlights

A donation from the Thoma Foundation funds a new Blanton curator position in Spanish colonial art.

The foundation will also loan Spanish colonial art long-term to the UT art museum.

The Blanton Museum of Art announced Wednesday that, thanks to a major gift from a private foundation, the University of Texas museum will significantly expand its focus to include Spanish colonial art.

A donation from the Chicago-based Carl and Marilynn Thoma Foundation will fund a full-time curator position devoted to Spanish colonial art. And a long-term loan agreement will see the Blanton receive many Spanish colonial paintings from the Thoma Foundation’s collection.

The collection’s paintings span the 17th to 19th centuries and were created in Latin America by both indigenous artists and Spanish colonists.

Additionally, the donation brings funds to support research grants and other scholarly programs that will be collaboratively administered between UT’s Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies and the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection.

Two galleries will be dedicated to art from the Spanish Americas when the Blanton unveils the reinstallation of its permanent collection in February, marking the first time that the Blanton will have permanent gallery space dedicated to Spanish colonial art, including paintings from the Thoma Foundation collection.

Related: Blanton set to reconfigure its permanent galleries

The initiative represents a major expansion of the Blanton’s scholarly focus.

While the Blanton has long been well regarded internationally for its modern and contemporary Latin American collection, it hasn’t had the resources to include collection materials of earlier eras of art from the Americas.

In 1963, decades before most North American or European museums considered Latin American art to be anything beyond folk art, UT’s Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery — predecessor to the Blanton — initiated collecting in the field.

By 1988, the Blanton had become the first museum in the United States to establish a curatorial position devoted solely to Latin American art. For many years, the museum’s collection stood as one of the foremost of its kind outside Latin America, and UT built a strong art history program in tandem.

Related: Donation rewards Blanton dedication to Latin American art

In a written statement, Blanton Director Simone Wicha said: “We are thrilled to share these beautiful and impactful works of art from the Thoma Collection with UT and the community. I am deeply grateful to Carl and Marilynn Thoma for this transformative gift and the loan of works from their collection.”

The Blanton has appointed Rosario I. Granados, a curator and lecturer in the field of Spanish colonial art and religious material culture, as the Carl and Marilynn Thoma associate curator of Spanish colonial art. Granados has taught extensively on material culture, art, gender and religion in Latin America and has recently held positions at Skidmore College, the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Chicago and Mexico’s Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas.

The partnership between the Blanton and the Thoma Foundation dates to 2008 when the museum first exhibited paintings from the foundation’s collection. Last year, the Blanton used the collection to organize an exhibit on Virgin Mary colonial paintings in South America.

Related: Blanton Museum exhibit focuses on South American colonial painting



Reader Comments


Next Up in News

Police: Woman arrested after tossing hot grease on officers
Police: Woman arrested after tossing hot grease on officers
A California woman was arrested Monday after police said she threw hot grease on them. The incident began with a report that someone was trying to...
Montreal's pit bull ban goes into effect
Montreal's pit bull ban goes into effect
UPDATE 12.2.2016: On Thursday, an appeals court in Montreal overturned the suspension of the controversial law banning pit bulls in the city.
DNA test helps sisters reunite after 71 years
DNA test helps sisters reunite after 71 years
Since being adopted as an infant, Katherine Fisher has spent most of her 71 years searching for her biological family.
LeBron James wears Cubs uniform to pay off World Series bet
LeBron James wears Cubs uniform to pay off World Series bet
LeBron James didn’t like it, but a bet’s a bet. And when you lose a bet, you pay the winner.
Georgia toddler with Down syndrome models clothes in ad
Georgia toddler with Down syndrome models clothes in ad
A Georgia boy with Down syndrome, whose mother’s persistence landed him a photo spread in ads for a leading children’s clothing brand,...
More Stories

You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com.

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of free premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.