you can now step inside ellsworth kelly's colorful 'austin' via livestream during lockdown

you can now step inside ellsworth kelly's colorful 'austin' via livestream during lockdown

‘austin’, the building and work of art by acclaimed american artist ellsworth kelly, has occupied the campus of the blanton museum of art at the university of texas at austin since early 2018. however, during the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the structure has been closed to visitors — denying potential guests the chance to experience its captivating patterns of colored light created by its stained-glass windows. however, thanks to a recently launched live stream, audiences from around the world can now take in the renowned work from their own homes.

ellsworth kelly austin
ellsworth kelly, austin, 2015 | artist-designed building with installation of colored glass windows, black and white marble panels, and redwood totem | 60 ft. x 73 ft. x 26 ft. 4 in. | all images © ellsworth kelly foundation | courtesy blanton museum of art, the university of texas at austin



announced by the blanton museum of art at the university of texas in austin, the stream, which can be accessed here, features live footage from two webcams focused on the two window formations that receive the most sunlight throughout the day. the stained-glass arrangements ‘tumbling squares’ on the east façade and ‘starburst’ on the west façade create patterns of colored light that move through the interior over the course of the day. the live stream provides viewers with a unique opportunity to experience the full course of movement of light from dawn to dusk.

ellsworth kelly austin



in january 2015, ellsworth kelly gifted to the blanton the design concept for his most monumental work, a stone building with luminous colored glass windows, a totemic wood sculpture, and 14 black and white marble panels. titled ‘austin’, honoring the artist’s tradition of naming particular works for the places for which they are destined, the structure is the only building kelly designed before his death in 2015. envisioned by the artist as a site for joy and contemplation, the work is a cornerstone of the blanton’s permanent collection.

ellsworth kelly austin



‘one of my favorite things to do as director of the blanton is to take a few moments to step inside ellsworth kelly’s austin,’ says simone wicha, director of the blanton museum. ‘while there, I’ve seen UT students taking a break from their studies and families whose children experiment with stepping in and out of the light, and I’ve often heard languages from travelers across the world. ellsworth kelly said that he wanted austin to be a place of calm and light. while nothing can replace the actual experience of being inside austin, people worldwide can now take a peek from home and have that joyful, soothing experience virtually.’

you can now step inside ellsworth kelly's colorful 'austin' via livestream during lockdown



founded in 1963, the blanton museum of art holds the largest public collection in central texas with around 19,000 objects. as well as being the home of ellsworth kelly’s ‘austin’, its major collecting areas are modern and contemporary american and latin american art, italian renaissance and baroque paintings, and prints and drawings.

you can now step inside ellsworth kelly's colorful 'austin' via livestream during lockdown



this virtual iteration of ‘austin’ is one of many efforts that the museum has developed to bring its programming online while its doors are temporarily closed. also available are 360-degree, fully navigable versions of blanton exhibitions including ed ruscha: drum skins and the avant-garde networks of amauta: argentina, mexico, and peru in the 1920s. the blanton’s #MuseumFromHome hub is frequently updated with new exhibitions, curator talks, and content made for families.


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