Just months after revealing a major, multi-million dollar expansion and rebranding, the Crow Museum of Asian Art is extending its reach in an even more significant way. Yesterday, The Trammell and Margaret Crow family announced the donation of the entire collection of the museum, along with $23 million of support funding, to the University of Texas at Dallas. The university will take over operations of the Crow Museum in the Dallas Arts District, and the gift funding will largely go towards the design and construction of a second museum on the UTD campus in Richardson.
The new museum will allow a larger portion of the permanent collection – composed of more than 1,000 works and a library of 12,000 books, catalogs, and journals – to be enjoyed by the public. Currently, about 85 percent of the collection sits in a storage facility in the Design District.
“We’ve always been a jewel box museum,” says Amy Lewis Hofland, director of the Crow Museum. “This will allow us to show work we’ve never shown before.”
The new facility will further the museum’s efforts to become more accessible (it recently changed its name from the Crow Collection to the Crow Museum to that end), as well as bolstering the university’s burgeoning arts programs. (Interestingly enough, UTD was just gifted another major art collection in November. The Barrett Collection, the largest collection of Swiss art in the U.S., will also require the construction of a new museum on campus.)
UT Dallas, which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year, has grown tremendously in its arts programming over the past decade with the donation of the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology building and the creation of the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History.
“Dean Kratz [dean of the School of Arts and Humanities] was motivated by how his school’s teaching and research would benefit from the depth and breadth of the collection and by the prospective resonance the art would have with our many students and community neighbors of Asian heritage,” read a statement from Rick Brettell, the founding director of the Edith O’Donnell Institute. “Now, this transformative gift will fulfill those dreams completely, and the Crow Museum will, in complement to the Barrett Museum of Swiss Art, constitute invaluable resources for our work in the Institute.”
The partnership between UTD and the Crow Museum will give the university a distinguished presence in the Dallas Arts District among organizations like the Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. On the other hand, the museum will benefit from the University’s resources, becoming part of a research facility, and gaining a central location amidst one of North Texas’ largest Asian communities.
Amy Lewis Hofland, who has been at the helm of the Crow Museum since 2002, will continue leadership for both museum sites. The Crow Museum will carry on with its full programming schedule in the Dallas Arts District, debuting its next exhibition, Hands and Earth: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics on March 9.