The Blanton Museum of Art, based in Austin, has received a big gift: more than 5,000 new works of art by Latino and Chicano artists.
A gift from Gilberto Cárdenas and Dolores Garcia, the pieces represent one of the largest collections of Latino and Chicano art in the world. The acquisition is part of the Blanton’s continued efforts to diversify the art world and bring visibility to Latino art.
Simone Wicha, director of the Blanton Museum, joined the Standard to talk about the acquisition and what it means for the Latino art world. Listen to the story above or read the transcript below.
This transcript has been edited lightly for clarity:
Texas Standard: Well, first, congratulations on this gift. Can you tell us about who is donating this artwork?
Simone Wicha: Absolutely. The gift is coming from a couple in Austin, Texas – Dr. Gilberto Cárdenas and his wife, Dolores Garcia. Gil and Dolores have been involved in the museum at the Blanton for quite some time. They’ve been on our board and had worked at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Cárdenas was a former professor at UT and he, too, started many extraordinary programs here at the university. He’s a researcher and scholar on Latino studies and influential in the field across the country. He’s authored and edited numerous books and articles and was the director.
After he left here, he was the director of the Center of Mexican-American Studies here at UT. And then he went on to be the founding director of the Institute of Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. And we’re thrilled that they’re back in Austin and really grateful that they’ve chosen the Blanton as a home for their collection.