Blanton Gala Kicks Off 50th Anniversary Of Museum
By Rob Giardinelli
Photography By Josh Baker and Jennifer Perez
It is an event that is so dazzling it only happens once every other year – and this year was so amazing we are calling it a golden opportunity. On a recent Saturday evening, the elite art collectors gathered in Austin for the bi-annual Blanton Museum Gala, formerly known as the Huntington Art Gallery, which this year was even more special since this year’s gala kicked off the Blanton Museum’s 50th anniversary at The University of Texas.
The event is so broad-reaching that it has a host of regional chairs throughout the state, including Austinites Jeanne & Mickey Klein, Suzanne Deal-Booth & David Booth and Mary & Howard Yancy; San Antonians Barbara & Alan Dreeben and South Texans Carol Lynn & Cullen Looney. Additionally, honorary chairs Larry Faulkner and Jessie Otto-Hite, helped honor both the museum’s rich history and the visionary donors who helped build the impressive collection of over 17,000 works of art over the past 50 years. These Sociables helped to create incredible infusion of energy and passion, which created a magical evening full of sociability, good conversation, scrumptious food, divine flowers courtesy of Mandarin Flower Co. and, of course, some of the best art on the planet, which resulted which resulted in over $1.4 million raised between the gala and companion exhibition, Through the Eyes of Texas.
The evening began with a cocktail hour where VIP’s from around the world mingled about, catching up on their recent travels and art purchases. Guests were then were able to get a sneak peak of the Blanton’s Through the Eyes of Texas; Masterworks from UT Alumni Collections, which is a special exhibition of private art collections from UT alumni, which includes such iconic artists as Renior, O’Keefe and Ruscha. After the delicious dinner, guests proceeded to the first-time-ever Blanton Gala after-party, appropriately titled Gold a Go-Go, which in a stroke of genius also included a performance by Go-Go band member and headliner of the Blue Bonnets, Kathy Valentine, where the world’s artful and sophisticated patrons danced the night away in golden style.