Some museums might have a member appreciation day, or maybe even a week—at the Blanton, we have an entire Member Appreciation Month! Over the course of June, we’ve set up special perks, treats, and tours to thank our members for all they do for the Blanton. Some members enjoy being at the Blanton so much that they choose to donate their valuable time as volunteers, helping to keep the museum running smoothly and our visitors happy. In honor of Member Appreciation Month, we wanted to highlight one Marcia and Richard Jinkins, who have spent over 10 years as super-volunteers and members—even after a decade, they’re still as happy and eager as ever to be involved in the arts in Austin! We sat down with this art-loving couple to get some insight on their routines and see what makes the Blanton so special to them.
Were you both always interested in art?
Yes. One story I always tell is about my first date with Marcia. For several years, I had been interested in one local artist. It turned out that one of the protégés of this artist was having a show at the gallery I frequented. I saw a painting and it became the first original oil painting I purchased. So on our first date I took her to the gallery to show her what I had purchased. That painting still hangs in our home 29 years later.
What are each of your favorite pieces in the Blanton’s collection and why?
Marcia: My favorite painting is by Stanton Macdonald-Wright, Synchromy in Purple Minor. The colors hit me ﬁrst, and then, the shapes and overall form. My immediate thoughts registered the movement in the painting as a combination of modern and jazz dance, as well as the martial arts. As I enjoy all three forms of movement, I could hear music in my head as I looked closely at the shapes and colors. The artist created a place in my imagination where I could see free form dance expressing an assortment of moods. My ability to create art on canvas is limited to stick ﬁgures with smiling faces; however, this painting gave me the opportunity to be creative using my mind and spirit.
Richard: Pastoral Landscape by Claude Gellee is my favorite painting because the ﬁrst piece of original artwork I purchased was a pastoral setting. I still love this type of artwork because it brings me peace and serenity.
There are so many volunteer opportunities in Austin, why did you choose the Blanton?
When we retired in March 2006, we took some time to rest and then decided volunteering at the Blanton would be a new learning experience. We like having the opportunity to enjoy ﬁne art, not only with the permanent collections but also with the temporary exhibits as well. As a retirement gift, Richard told Marcia having a Blanton membership would make him happy. It was a logical decision for us to volunteer at the museum.
What’s your favorite thing to do at the Blanton when you’re off duty?
We enjoy the Midday Music Series, attending the docent training sessions for a new exhibit, and any special program lectures.
What kept you coming back to volunteer every year?
Volunteering at the Blanton provides us so many opportunities to meet a diverse group of interesting people visiting the museum. While we do our best to answer visitor questions about the Blanton as well as Austin, the visitors give us information about their various museum visits, which helps us plan our next museum trip. Everybody we have met enjoys sharing their experiences of travel and we thoroughly enjoy listening as well as learning.