Blanton Museum of Art–Austin, Texas

I made a quick trip to Austin with my husband. As a UT art-history alum, it’s kind of like coming home, although I never felt at home in this heat.

It’s more fun to come down these days because my dear friend and former museum colleague, Brian, is here working at the new Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas.

I arrived a little early and got to look at the outside of the museum. I was prepared to hate the architecture because of the huge controversy involved in building a new museum and the firing of world-class architects Herzog & de Meuron. And I really, really don’t like the outside of the building. There’s nothing interesting about the Blanton architecture. It blends in with its surroundings and is very “safe.” But it’s also fortress-like. (I’d point you to the pictures, but it’s no surprise that I can’t find any on their website. Maybe they’re there, but they’re not easy to find.) Okay, I’m no architecture critic, so I found some things to like.

I love the portico. Texas summers are unforgiving and it was so pleasant to sit on these stone benches that ran throughout the portico. I sat and wrote in my journal because I was early.Portico_1

I love the Blanton’s PR campaign as is evident in this sign looking out onto an additional building slated for completion next spring. In case you can’t read it, it’s “Art is . . . “ Art is surprise. Art is juicy. Art is progress. But . . . Art is optional???? I don’t think so!
Artis_1

Some of the details on the building are beautiful. Look at this gorgeous wood underneath the eave. And the limestone.
Roofline

I’m headed back tomorrow and will post something about the art.

Oh yeah, one more thing. Had lunch with Brian at Nu Age Cafe. I’m not too much fun to eat with as I require a dairy-free, gluten-free menu, but Brian (who is a vegetarian) found some great options here. Look at my plate! A gorgeous spinach saute with macadamia nuts. Yummy, nutty brown rice was underneath the pyramidal banana leaf. I thought it was a work of art in itself!Lunch_1

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