AUSTIN (AP) — A Houston couple has donated 120 modern and contemporary Latin American artworks valued at nearly $10 million to the University of Texas.
The Houston Chronicle reports that Charles and Judy Tate, UT alumni, selected the university’s Blanton Museum of Art for the donation. They also gave more than $1 million to a university endowment that supports a Latin American curatorship.
The art includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and mixed-media works. Many are by artists who took part in the creation of modernism, such as Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Tarsila do Amaral, Lygia Clark, Carlos Mérida, Wifredo Lam, Armando Reverón, Alejandro Xul Solar and Joaquín Torres-García.
The collection is the most significant single donation to the Blanton’s Latin American collection since the department was established.
“It’s transformative in a very significant way,” Blanton director Simone Wicha said.
The Blanton was one of the first U.S. museums to recognize Latin art. Its holdings in that area have grown to more than 2,200 pieces since Texas collectors John and Barbara Duncan donated 54 paintings in 1971.
Charles Tate said the couple always intended to give their collection to their alma mater.
“Latin art is not terribly well understood, and one of the Blanton’s greatest contributions has been educating people,” said Tate, the chairman and founder of the private equity firm Capital Royalty LP, which invests in the health care industry.
The Tates also support the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, which houses 650 Latin American paintings and sculptures. However, Charles Tate said Austin was a better fit for the donation.
“As a teaching institution, the Blanton has other missions,” he said. “It relies on alumni for support.”
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.