To the unacquainted, this trapezoidal building looks like has been a part of the University for many years â€“ maybe recently remodeled. With indigenous red clay roofing tiles and a limestone facade the Blanton Museum blends right in with its younger siblings to the north.
The Blanton seems only to function as a southern gateway to our three hundred and fifty acre campus. As one of the first buildings commissioned under the Campus Master Plan, inducted May 1999 by former President Larry Falkner to â€œpreserve our traditional public spaces and extend that sense of harmony,â€ its exterior architecture conforms to the â€œgrand classical traditionâ€ of the 1930â€™s â€“ akin to the Main Building and the area surrounding the tower.
Void of the word â€œmuseumâ€ on its exterior, the â€œlargest university art museum in the countryâ€ radiates no sensations of â€œart.â€ Instead she reflects the apparent values held by the composers of the Campus Master Plan: scale, traditionalism, and influence. This â€œheartbreaking step backwardsâ€ caused Larry Speck to resign as Dean of the School of Architecture.
It saddens me that the $87 million dollar chance we had at creating a building that could have been, as Jacques Herzog put it, â€œa work of art and a major step towards achieving architectural unity on this campusâ€ is no longer.
EDIT: a conversation between Jacques and Regent Donald Evans