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  • Leslie Lyon, Director of Public Affairs, College of Fine Arts, (512) 475-7033

Lady Bird Johnson donates French Impressionist work to Blanton

Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson presented Armand Guillaumin's oil painting Environs de Paris to the Blanton Museum of Art of the University of Texas at Austin on July 6, in honor of the museum's namesake, Jack S. Blanton. Guillaumin, the last surviving member of the French Impressionist movement, counted among his friends and colleagues Pissarro, Cezanne, and Van Gogh. Called a "furious colorist" by some critics, Guillaumin is known for his landscapes with shimmering light and vibrant, otherworldly color, and "super-heated skies."

The first Impressionist painting in the Blanton's collection, Environs de Paris will be on view at the museum's present location as well as in the new Blanton museum when it opens its doors in February 2006. The painting was a gift to Mrs. Johnson from her husband, President Lyndon B. Johnson, and hung in the White House during the Johnson administration. At the small, private ceremony with the Johnson and Blanton families, Blanton Director Jessie Otto Hite remarked, "I am deeply honored to receive such a fine and cherished work from Mrs. Johnson and her family in honor of Jack Blanton. The gift is a testament to the respect Jack commands from his friends and his continued ability to inspire support for our campaign to build the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art."