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KellysAustin

Kelly Squares

We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our dear friend Ellsworth Kelly on December 27, 2015, at the age of 92. It has been a great honor to work with Ellsworth on Austin. Much like his iconic artwork, Ellsworth had a bold and bright spirit. An inspiration to generations of artists, Ellsworth will be remembered not only by his art, featured prominently in museums around the globe, but also in the hearts and minds of all who knew him.

— Simone Wicha, Director, The Blanton Museum of Art

Click here to read the New York Times obituary for Ellsworth Kelly.

In January 2015, Ellsworth Kelly gifted to the Blanton the design concept for his most monumental work, a 2,715-square-foot stone building with luminous colored glass windows, a totemic wood sculpture, and fourteen black-and-white stone panels in marble. Titled Austin, honoring the artist’s tradition of naming particular works for the places for which they are destined, the structure is the first and only freestanding building the artist has designed, and will be his most lasting legacy. Envisioned by Kelly as a site for joy and contemplation, Austin will become a cornerstone of the Blanton’s permanent collection and will enrich the lives of visitors from around the world.

Click here to read a message from Blanton Director Simone Wicha about the project and the campaign to construct and care for Austin.

Support Ellsworth Kelly's Austin

The Blanton is undertaking a $23 million campaign to construct and fabricate Austin, build the endowment for the operation, care, and conservation of this singular work of art, and redevelop the grounds of the museum.

This year, annual fund donations will directly support Austin. Plus, any gift made will be matched by an anonymous friend of the museum, essentially doubling your donationClick here to make your gift today.

Gifts of $100,000 or higher will be celebrated as part of the legacy of this work in special donor recognition adjacent to Austin. In addition, all gifts to the museum of $5,000 or more will be recognized in various donor listings, including the annual donor wall, during the year that the building opens. For more information, please contact the museum’s Development Department at 512.475.6013.

Kelly Exterior

Ellsworth Kelly Panel Discussion

On October 31, 2015, the Blanton hosted a roundtable discussion on the life and work of Ellsworth Kelly, featuring notable curators and scholars from across the country. Moderated by Veronica Roberts, Blanton Curator of Modern and Contemporary art, panelists included Gavin Delahunty (Dallas Museum of Art), Carter Foster (Whitney Museum of American Art), Tricia Y. Paik (Indianapolis Museum Of Art), and Richard Shiff (The University of Texas at Austin).

Thanks to our friends at Art This Week, video of the panel, as well as the question and answer session, is available to watch online.

Additional Resources and Select Press:

The New York Times broke the news of Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin, quoting the artist: “Go there and rest your eyes, rest your mind,” he said. “Enjoy it.”

Artnet also featured the news in an article, quoting Blanton Director Simone Wicha, who highlighted the importance of the building and its role within the community: “Kelly's intention was always for it to exist in perpetuity in a public space.”

In an article reflecting on Kelly's long life and career, the Guardian touched on the project as indicative of the artist’s “appetite for work [remaining] keen.”

The Blanton has also published two press releases about the project: the first announcing the acquisition of the artwork, and the second focusing on the groundbreaking and the Kelly panel that accompanied it.

Image captions

Ellsworth Kelly, Austin, 2015 (model; interior view)
Artist-designed building with installation of colored glass windows, marble panels, and redwood totem
60 ft. x 73 ft. x 26 ft. 4 in.
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin
Gift of the artist, with funding generously provided by Jeanne and Michael Klein, Suzanne Deal Booth and David G. Booth, the Scurlock Foundation, the Longhorn Network, and other donors
© 2015 Ellsworth Kelly Foundation
Image courtesy the Blanton Museum of Art

Ellsworth Kelly, Austin, 2015 (exterior rendering)
Artist-designed building with installation of colored glass windows, marble panels, and redwood totem
60 ft. x 73 ft. x 26 ft. 4 in.
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin
Gift of the artist, with funding generously provided by Jeanne and Michael Klein, Suzanne Deal Booth and David G. Booth, the Scurlock Foundation, the Longhorn Network, and other donors
© 2015 Ellsworth Kelly Foundation
Image courtesy the Blanton Museum of Art

Gift of the artist, with funding generously provided by Jeanne and Michael Klein, Suzanne Deal Booth and David G. Booth, the Scurlock Foundation, the Longhorn Network, and other donors.

Additional funding for the Campaign for Austin generously provided by Jack and Leslie Blanton, Elizabeth and Peter Wareing, the Lowe Foundation, The Eugene McDermott Foundation, and Stedman West Foundation, with further support provided by Judy and David Beck, Kelli and Eddy Blanton, Charles Butt, Mrs. Donald G. Fisher, Agnes Gund, and Lora Reynolds and Quincy Lee