Critics Hail Blanton Museum Exhibition

“El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa,” on view at The Blanton through January 22, has received praise from local, state, and national critics. The Wall Street Journal (9/24/2011) said “Don’t miss,” the exhibition, Texas Monthly selected it as one of five stand-out shows this season, and closer to home, The Austin American-Statesman described the works as “breathtaking.” Learn more about the exhibition in this behind the scenes video: El Anatsui at The Blanton

The VAC presents MAKE in November

Come join us for an intimate journey into the lives of four American self-taught artists.

A new round of exhibitions is about to open at the Visual Arts Center! The VAC is excited to present MAKE, opening November 18th. MAKE explores the lives and works of four self-taught American artists. Making art gave each of these artists a powerful voice that transcended their disabilities and obstacles.

Ike Morgan, Judith Scott, Hawkins Bolden and Prophet Royal Robertson’s work will be on display at the VAC in the East Gallery.  Each artist has a distinct style, but only Morgan, whose paintings frequently feature portraits of presidents considered his creations pieces of art! Scott’s extremely elaborate and intricate creations made of yarn and threads are beautiful and haunting. Bolden went blind at a young age, but still produced eerie scarecrows.  Robertson considered his drawings of the apocalypse not works of art, but prophecies that foretold the coming on aliens and the end of days. These four artists offer a stark contrast to the traditional art world and their unique perspective is not to be missed.

Scott Ogden, a graduate of the College of Fine Arts UT Austin, curates MAKE.  He directed a documentary film titled MAKE, featuring the four artists, which will receive a screening at the VAC on November 29th followed by a Q&A with the director.  Don’t miss this rare film and make sure to check out the art before the screening!

MAKE will be on view at the VAC from November 18th through December 17th.  Be sure to join us at the opening reception on November 18th at 6 pm.

For more information on MAKE at the VAC visit . For more information on the film visit  .

A World of Interest: Frida Kahlo

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s Self–portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (1940) has returned to the Harry Ransom Center and is on display in the lobby through January 8, 2012.

Join us on Thursday, October 27, at 7 p.m. for a lecture by Peter Mears, Associate Curator of Art at the Ransom Center. Mears discusses how the Ransom Center acquired the painting and a small but important collection of modern Mexican art from photographer and collector Nickolas Muray, who was also Kahlo’s lover. Mears will also provide an overview of this iconic painting’s worldly travels, which serve as a cultural barometer reflecting the trends, issues, and cross-cultural themes prevalent in the art world over the past two decades.

The painting, one of the Ransom Center’s most famous and frequently borrowed artworks, has been on almost continuous loan since 1990. During that time, the painting has been featured in exhibitions in more than 25 museums in the United States and around the world.

The painting was most recently on loan as part of a Kahlo retrospective tour with stops at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, Germany; the Kunstforum Wien in Vienna, Austria; and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, Spain. View a map of where the painting has travelled in the past 20 years.

Watch a video documenting the painting’s return, unpacking, and conservation assessment.


Visit the Harry Ransom Center

The galleries are open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours on Thursday until 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays.

Docent-led tours are offered Tuesdays at noon, Saturdays at 2 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m.

The Ransom Center is located at 21st and Guadalupe. Admission is free. Your donation supports the Ransom Center’s exhibitions and public programs.