Blanton Museum of Art’s Grounds Initiative in Austin


Look at the museum’s view from MLK, Jr. Boulevard looking northeast toward the Larry and Mary Ann Faulkner Gateway. | Rendering via Blanton Museum of Art

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Did you know the Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin will be the first major museum with dedicated outdoor space for sound art?

The museum, which was founded in 1963 and holds the largest public collection in Central Texas with ~21,000 objects, is currently going through a New Grounds Initiative. This initiative is a comprehensive redesign plan made to unify + revitalize the ~200,000 sqft of museum space.

What you should know

  • Project is led by international design firm Snøhetta
  • Space will feature a major Carmen Herrera public mural
  • Museum will include the Butler Sound Gallery
  • Improvements made at the northern + southern gateways to the museum site
  • Entrances to the two museum buildings will be marked by protruding vaults

The Moody Patio will be the centerpiece of the project, and will serve as a gathering space between the museum’s two main buildings. This area will also be framed by 15 petal-shaped structures that will create a shade canopy.

Getting into the numbers

There is a $35 million goal to fund the New Grounds Initiative. The museum’s last report in 2020 included details that $33.1 million of that goal had been met.

Some of the funding includes:

  • $17.5 million from the Moody Foundation, with an additional $2.5 million to endow the museum’s free admission day on Thursdays
  • $5 million from the Still Water Foundationincluding a $2 million challenge match to inspire other donors

The museum is currently open for business during its construction. Before you go, check out these visitor entrance updates. The New Grounds Initiative is expected to be completed in early 2023. Go behind the scenes of the Blanton’s new look here.

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