The Latin American Collection of the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art
(Formerly the Archer M. Huntington Gallery)
Since its inception in 1963, the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art of the University of Texas at Austin has been a pioneer in the collection, exhibition, and research of twentieth-century Latin American art. With more than 1700 works, the Blanton has one of the finest and largest publicly held collections of twentieth-century Latin American art in the country. This important collection has enhanced the University's reputation as an international center for the study of Latin America and complements the University's related facilities, including the Institute of Latin American Studies, the Center for Mexican American Studies, and the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection -- the world's most comprehensive library on Latin America. During its history, the Blanton has presented seventy-eight exhibitions of Latin American art, many setting the pace in the field and traveling to museums throughout the globe.
The Barbara Duncan Collection, consisting of nearly 300 works, comprises the core of these extraordinary holdings. During and after their stay in Lima, Peru from 1948 to 1955, Mrs. Duncan, a New York-based art historian, and her husband John became fascinated with Latin America and began actively collecting its art. A touring exhibition of works from the Duncan Collection came to UT in 1971. "We found at the University of Texas a deep interest in all aspects of Latin American history and culture," she noted. The Duncans were also impressed with the Mari and James Michener Collection of Twentieth-Century American Painting and felt that with the addition of their holdings, the University could establish a comprehensive collection of the art of the Americas. They made their first donation of art to the Blanton in 1971 and recently contributed more than 100 works to the museum.
The Gallery's entire Latin American collection represents significant artists and movements that have emerged in Mexico, South and Central America, and the Caribbean over the last fifty years. More than 500 artists from seventeen countries have work in the collection, including Fernando Botero, Eugenio Dittborn, Armando Morales, Antonio Segui, and Joaquin Torres-Garcia. The holdings also feature significant pieces by Mexican-American, Puerto Rican, and other Latin American artists living and working in the United States, a number of whose works can be viewed in the United States only at the Blanton.