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Jan 29 2019

Crow Family Donates Entire Asian Art Collection To University Of Texas At Dallas

by Julee WJ Chung

The family of Trammell and Margaret Crow has donated the entire collection of the Crow Museum of Asian Art and an endowment fund of USD 23 million to the University of Texas at Dallas. The Crow collection includes artifacts such as the Chinese sculpture Jade Mountain (pictured), circa 18th century, nephrite, carved wood base, 35.6 × 43.2 × 11.4 cm. Courtesy Crow Museum of Asian Art, Dallas. 

On January 24, the family of Trammell and Margaret Crow announced that they have donated the entire collection of the Crow Museum of Asian Art—which has been operating in the downtown Dallas Arts District since 1998—together with an endowment fund of USD 23 million, to the University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas). The university will use the funding to create a second museum on its campus in Richardson. Although the university will operate both sites, the museums’ programs and exhibitions will be led by Crow Museum director Amy Lewis Hofland, and overseen by the current curatorial and administrative staff.

Since the 1960s, the Crow family has amassed a vast collection of classical and contemporary Asian art from Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Tibet and Vietnam. Works in the over-1,000-piece collection include a Ming-dynasty seated Vairocana Buddha and a collection of Chinese jades, such as Jade Mountain, an 18th century Qing dynasty sculpture. The collection also comprises some 12,000 books, catalogs and journals.

Trammell S. Crow, the president of the Crow Family Foundation and son of Trammell and Margaret Crow, commented on the purpose of their charitable efforts: “It is our hope that the museum will continue to create global awareness and conversation through the power of the collection and its programs and reach new audiences both among UT Dallas students and the broader North Texas community.”

Hofland highlighted how the endowment “ensures perpetual care for [the] invaluable collection and will allow the Crow Museum to expand its missions of research and engagement with the public.” She added: “Close interactions between the Crow Museums’ collections and programs and the university’s students, faculty, curricula, and global footprint will provide tremendous new synergy as the growing Asian Art Museum of the region. In particular, we look forward to our interactions with the School of Arts and Humanities and the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History.”

Richard Benson, the president of UT Dallas, stated: “This magnificent and far-sighted gift from the Crow family has tremendous significance for our university’s future. The vision of Trammell and Margaret Crow was that the artistic and cultural treasures they had assembled would be shared as widely as possible with the public.”

The Crow family gift came after UT Dallas received the donation of the Barrett Collection, the largest collection of Swiss art in the United States, in November 2018. The collection includes more than 400 works dating from the late-14th to mid-20th century and will be housed in the new, purpose-built Barrett Museum on the UT Dallas campus.

Julee WJ Chung is the assistant editor of ArtAsiaPacific.

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