The Blanton's collection features more than 4,000 paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, and works in new media that together trace the achievement in American art from 1875 to the present day. It contains a large number of paintings of the American West as well as significant examples of works from the Ashcan School, early American modernism, Regionalism, Social Realism, Abstract Expressionism, Color Field, Pop, Minimalism, Post-Minimalism, and Conceptual and Performance art. It also includes an ever-growing selection of works by provocative, cutting-edge contemporary artists active in the United States.
In addition to its excellent survey of works by well-known artists, The Blanton's holdings of American and contemporary art include unexpected riches—bold and idiosyncratic expressions—that confound expectations and pique the curiosity of scholars and visitors alike. With a core of historical material donated by C.R. Smith and Mari and James A. Michener, now supplemented by purchases, commissions, and generous gifts by donors such as Jeanne and Michael Klein and the Blanton family, the collection is rich in masterworks that show modern and contemporary art production at its most ambitious; experimental works that provide clues to artistic transitions; strong representative works that capture the essence of an artist's style; and uncommon works that enrich our understanding of the history as well as the current state of American art.