Blanton Museum forms national board

Matthew Adams

The Blanton Museum of Art announced Thursday the creation of its National Leadership Board, which will replace the role of its Museum Council in providing feedback to the on-campus museum.

Kathleen Stimpert, Blanton director of public relations and marketing, said, while members of the Blanton’s Museum Council were primarily from Texas, supporters of the National Leadership Board range from places such as California, New York and the Midwest. In expanding the board, Stimpert said it will now be comprised of noted collectors, philanthropists and business leaders from around the country. 

“The group will serve as ambassadors for the Blanton,” Stimpert said. “[They will help] us expand our reach and national profile and will provide feedback to museum leadership to support various initiatives and priorities.”

Development director Karen Sumner said the board is rounded out with alumni and friends of the University. Along with expanding the museum’s national recognition, Sumner said she hopes to see a rise in the museum’s international profile. 

According to Stimpert, Sumner and museum director Simone Wicha began the process of the expansion, and as they moved along in the process, they gained support from board chair Michael Klein and President William Powers Jr.

Klein said he believes the expanded board will help the Blanton gain national recognition. 

“By moving out of an advisory council and moving to a national board, we [aim] to be taken more seriously,” Klein said. “The Blanton is primed and ready to be one of the most significant university art museums in the country. At this point, it will take the right board to advance this goal.”

Sumner said the members will go through the museum with curators and educators during the board’s inaugural weekend Nov. 6-9. The Blanton will also hold a free public lecture Nov. 7 by renowned international artist Doris Salcedo.

Editor's note: This article has been updated from its original version.