{Art} Blue Bloods at the Blanton

Marking a 50th Anniversary Milestone at One of America’s Foremost University Museums

Catherine D. Anspon  |  Photos by Amelia Tarbet, Josh Baker
May 03, 2013
Event Date:
March 31, 2013

The University of Texas’ Blanton Museum of Art in Austin is a bastion of important collections spanning American holdings (including the Michener bequest), significant Latin American modern and contemporary, Old Master Italian Renaissance and Baroque treasures, and an expansive trove of prints and drawings. The museum celebrated its first 50 years this spring — and only an exhibition paired with a million-dollar-raising party would do.

So they came, more than 550 affluent influentials, from every culture capital of Texas. In the crowd were Houston-based Judy Tate, who chairs the Blanton Museum Council, with her husband Charles; museum director Simone Wicha; the evening’s honorary chairs, retired UT Prez Larry Faulkner and former Blanton director Jessie Hite (this duo shaped the reborn Blanton’s $83.5 million building, unveiled 2006); 22 regional chairs, including top collectors supreme Cindy and Howard Rachofsky; Nancy and Jim Gordon of Houston; former Houstonians Jeanne and Mickey Klein, now of Austin and Santa Fe; and Austin-based Suzanne Deal Booth, whose largesse has resulted in the new Turrell Skyspace at Rice University.

Cocktails and the Gold a Go-Go-themed after-party both took place in the Blanton’s arcaded Rapoport Atrium with its compelling Teresita Fernández mural that resembles ocean waves. The masterful seated black-tie dinner was across the street at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, where celebrants enjoyed an artful repast devised by Four Seasons Austin’s top toque Elmar Prambs. At the centerpiece of the evening was a viewing of “Through the Eyes of Texas,” an exhibition of nearly 200 extraordinary offerings culled from the walls of UT alumni from across the country and organized by long-time Blanton curator Annette DiMeo Carlozzi. On hand was museum namesake patron Jack Blanton, in from Houston with wife Ginger, toasting fellow hometown notables including son Eddy Blanton and daughter-in-law Kelli, Cornelia and Meredith Long, Cynthia Toles, Sara Dodd-Spickelmier, gallerist David Shelton, Susan Garwood and George Peterkin, and Michael Landrum and Pepper Paratore.