Print by artist Hokusai: Hanging-cloud Bridge at Mount Gyōdō near Ashikaga

Blanton Museum Exhibitions Offer Glimpses into Multiple Nations

  • Mar 7, 2024
  • Bianca Guevara Magallanez

Several exhibitions recently opened for spring and summer at the Blanton Museum of Art, promising to take viewers on a captivating journey across North America to Japan.  

The prestigious museum located on the grounds of The University of Texas at Austin invites campus, students, faculty and the public to explore a global spectrum of cultural diversity through its 2024 series of international exhibitions. 

Masterpieces of Edo Japan  

Print by artist Kuniyoshi, Kaga_ Yuki

Visitors may find themselves transported to the bustling streets of Edo-era Japan when viewing "The Floating World: Masterpieces of Edo Japan." More than 130 woodblock prints and painted scrolls collectively offer a glimpse into the daily lives and transient pleasures of Japan's urban population from the 17th to 19th centuries.  

Featuring works that range from portraits of elegant geishas to majestic landscapes, this presentation marks the first time the Worcester Art Museum is touring its famed collection of Japanese artworks. The exhibition will remain open to Blanton museum-goers through June 30, 2024. 


Mexico’s ‘Secret Artist’  

Drawing by artist Melecio Galvan: Hombre

The Blanton’s international journey continues from there. Beginning March 23, 2024, visitors can venture upstairs to the museum’s Paper Vault galleries and discover the treasures of a talented and prolific but little-known Mexican draftsman in "Meet Melecio Galván: The Secret Artist & His Mexican Contemporaries."  

On display are several of Galván's drawings, preparatory sketches and detailed renderings, as well as works by seven of his Mexican contemporaries. This "secret artist" is finally receiving much-deserved recognition at the first U.S. exhibition ever dedicated to his artistic legacy. 

Sky Dances Light 

The Blanton’s cultural exploration expands further, exploring the transformative power of history, community and storytelling with the contemporary artwork of "Marie Watt: SKY DANCES LIGHT," which opened March 2, 2024. Watt’s immersive installations feature tens of thousands of tin cones sewn onto mesh netting, coalescing into abstract, cloud-like forms that hang from the ceiling.  

Installation by artist Marie Watt: SKY DANCES LIGHT

Known as “jingles,” these small metal bells reference the “Jingle Dress Dance,” which today represents an important Native American powwow dance and its accompanying regalia. Viewers can explore the intersection of history and community woven into every tin cone, offering an opportunity to create bonds across generations of human history as well as with each other. 

Native America: In Translation  

And finally, in early August 2024, art-seekers can confront the complexities of shared history while viewing the major exhibition, "Native America: In Translation." Curated by artist Wendy Red Star, this groundbreaking exhibit brings together the work of nine Indigenous artists, each challenging the notions of identity and heritage, land rights and histories of colonialism.  

A medium dark-skinned woman in a colorful, intricately patterned outfit surrounded by dolls and other toys in a garden with images of jungle animals in the background

The works collectively represent the historic and often fraught relationship between photography and visual representation of Native Americans, while also reimagining what it means to be a citizen in North America today.  

Blanton Invites Cultural Excursion

In formats ranging from photographs, paintings and drawings to prints, textiles and multimedia installations, the Blanton Museum’s current complement of international exhibitions invites visitors to embark on a cultural excursion that spans multiple continents, from the streets of Japan to the hills of Mexico and the plains of Indigenous America. 

The Blanton Museum of Art is open weekly Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and is closed Mondays. UT ID holders get free admission during regular museum hours.