Museum Unveils New Grounds At Dazzling 60th Anniversary Gala

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Sloan Breeden Photography


Judy Tate

Simone Wicha, Ross Moody and Elle Moody

THE PURPOSE: It was a stunning spring night at the Blanton Museum of Art where 350 of Texas’ (and the country’s) most notable art patrons and sociables gathered for an unforgettable night of art, fun, and fundraising. The Blanton Museum of Art’s 60th anniversary gala highlighted its storied history with an epic gala and it’s perfectly named theme, A New Landscape, that celebrated the completed transformation of the museum’s New Grounds Initiative that was over a decade in the making.

Carrie Healy and Clayton Maebius

The scene at the Blanton Museum Of Art 2023 gala

THE STYLE: The artful, black-tie crowd was dazzled from the second they walked up to the newly transformed grounds, where patrons were mesmerized by the white petal installation. The refraction of the early evening sun against a permanent installation of three-story tall white petals highlighted the installation. It created a magical glow around the entire space where many could be seen taking images and videos of these exquisite new grounds…and the art that adorns it. The installation, located on the Moody Patio of the Blanton Museum, allows the public to view and take in this space for free.

Suzanne Deal Booth and LeMel Humes

Anthony Grant and Jack Shear

Revelers then explored the grounds both inside and outside the museum for a lively cocktail hour, where after partygoers enjoyed a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne, and mingled as they toasted and celebrated the significant and historical artistic milestone of one of the state’s most beloved and world-class art institutions. Additionally, guests could be seen taking photos on a gorgeous step and repeat to commemorate the night.

Chris Hyams, Emma Hyams and Mazie Hyams

Linda van Bavel and Sarah Butler

Patrons then headed to the beautifully erected tent on the exterior museum grounds for the evening’s main program. The open aired tent allowed for the picture-perfect weather to envelop the space as guests had stunning views of the Texas State Capitol to the south and Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin, located on the grounds of the Blanton Museum, to the north. As guests dined on a delectable, multi-course meal, they were treated to words from organization leaders, board members, and prominent supporters of the organization.

Jasmine and Lamarr Houston, Kenyon Adams, Suzanne McFayden & Christian Palominos

Jill Wilkinson and Holly Borham

The festivities continued with a “petals up” auction, that offered a clever spin to the traditional paddles up auction, while serving as a nod to the new installation which raised over $250,000. The evening was capped off with a toast by Blanton Museum Director Simone Wicha, who perfectly summed up the night by saying “I’m really proud of what we are doing together. The journey of the Blanton, from its layered history to today, to where we are going is all built on people…artists and visitors, teachers and students, alumni and residents, alumni and local residents, university partners and business leaders all who keep the museum vibrant and flowing.”

Lara and Bill Perkins

Rob Giardinelli, Kelli Blanton and Lance Avery Morgan

THE PURPOSE: The event raised over $1.3 million for the Blanton Museum of Art. Proceeds raised from the event will help fund exhibitions as well as education and public programs.