Behind the Blanton: Stephanie Ruse, Collections and Exhibitions Assistant

Stephanie Ruse is the Collections and Exhibitions Assistant at the Blanton. In our latest installment of Behind the Blanton, a series where we profile different Blanton staff members, we sat down with Stephanie to learn a little bit about what she does here at the museum.


What does a typical workday look like for you?

Stephanie: As the Collections & Exhibitions Assistant, I help with caring for the objects in the Blanton collection and planning for upcoming exhibitions. On any given day, I might be adding records for new acquisitions to our collections database, formatting wall labels for the next exhibition, writing to artists for permission to publish their artworks, or making travel arrangements for a courier accompanying a work of art that the Blanton is borrowing from another museum.

If you had to pick a favorite exhibition you’ve helped with while working at the Blanton, what would it be?

I would have to pick Through the Eyes of Texas: Masterworks from Alumni Collections (Spring 2013) for the range and quality of the almost 200 artworks in the show. It was very challenging to organize an exhibition of that scale, but so worth it to see such outstanding artworks (including ancient Mayan vessels, Renaissance and Impressionist paintings, and massive contemporary installations) all in one place. The generosity of the UT Austin alumni lenders and the collective efforts of the Blanton staff made for a very special exhibition.

Young Woman Holding a Wine Flask
Giacomo Ceruti, called Il Pitocchetto, Young Peasant Woman Holding a Wine Flask, circa 1737-38, Oil on canvas, The Suida-Manning Collection

What’s a piece that always draws your attention in the Blanton’s collection?

I often stop to look at Il Pitocchetto’s Young Peasant Woman Holding a Wine Flask, circa 1737–38. I love that the artist gave this unnamed peasant girl such dignity and distinction. The details in her ring, necklace, and patched dress contribute to her individuality and make me wonder about what her life and personality were like.

Favorite thing to do in Austin on a summer day?

I like to either embrace the heat at one of Austin’s great swimming pools (Deep Eddy is a favorite) or escape the heat and enjoy a movie and a cold drink at the Alamo Drafthouse.

Thank you to Stephanie for taking time out of her busy day to talk with us about her work here at the Blanton.

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