Blaffer Receives $1 Million Bequest from Longtime Benefactor

‘Transformational’ Gift from Jane Dale Owen Largest in Museum’s History

Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston has received a $1 million bequest from the late Jane Dale Owen, who died in 2014. A granddaughter of Houston art patron and collector Sarah Campbell Blaffer, from whom the museum takes its name, Owen was a longtime benefactor who served on Blaffer’s advisory board and executive committee.

The unrestricted gift will go toward creating an endowment in the name of Jane Dale Owen, the income from which will be used to develop exhibitions and public programs.

"Jane Dale Owen's gesture is truly transformational," said Blaffer director and chief curator Claudia Schmuckli. "It is the largest gift the museum has received in its 42-year history, and we are delighted that it was given in recognition of our commitment to serving as a catalyst for the creation and appreciation of contemporary art.

“We are deeply grateful to Ms. Owen for her lifetime commitment to the museum that celebrates her family legacy in name and deed."

Widely admired for her environmental advocacy and philanthropy, Owen was also a key supporter of the arts in Houston, serving on the executive committee of the UH Moores School of Music, funding the popular Children’s Film program and serving on the film committee at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

She chaired Blaffer Art Museum’s first fundraising gala, held in conjunction with the 1997 exhibition “Michael Ray Charles, 1989-1997: An American Artist's Work,” and worked in the years that followed to grow the event and its supporters. Serving as the gala’s honorary chair in 2004, Owen viewed the annual event’s success as carrying out Sarah Campbell Blaffer’s wish to bring great art to the people of Texas.

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 42,700 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country.


About Blaffer Art Museum

Incorporated in 1973, Blaffer Art Museum is one of the premier non-collecting contemporary art museums in the country. Its mission is to further the understanding of contemporary art and culture through exhibitions, publications and public programs of merit and distinction. As the gateway between the University of Houston and the City of Houston, Blaffer Art Museum is a catalyst for creative innovation, experimentation and scholarship. Its exhibitions and programs are free and open to the public, create community through dialogue and participation and inspire an appreciation for the visual arts as a vital force in shaping contemporary culture.


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