An Art Collection To Crow About

Editors’ Note: This feature appears as it was published in the summer 2019 edition of UT Dallas Magazine. Titles or faculty members listed may have changed since that time.
Bench in front of paintingsInstallation view, Jacob Hashimoto: Clouds and Chaos, September 28, 2018 – April 14, 2019

The Trammell and Margaret Crow family has donated the entire collection of the Trammell and Margaret Crow Museum of Asian Art, together with $23 million of support funding, to UT Dallas to create the Trammell and Margaret Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas.

The University will continue to operate the Crow Museum in its current space in the downtown Dallas Arts District, where it has been located for more than 20 years. The gift funding will provide for the design and construction of a second museum on the UT Dallas campus.
The Crow Museum’s growing permanent collection demonstrates the diversity of Asian art, with more than 1,000 works from Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam, spanning from the ancient to the contemporary. The collection also includes a library of over 12,000 books, catalogs and journals.
The collection was started by Dallas residents Trammell and Margaret Crow in the 1960s. Trammell Crow was legendary in the business world, known as one of the most innovative real estate developers in the U.S. In the mid-1980s, he was the nation’s biggest developer, with more than 8,000 properties in over 100 cities.
During numerous business trips to Asia, he developed an appreciation for its diverse art. Over the course of three decades, the Crows assembled a vast and distinguished collection, including a 6-foot Ming dynasty seated Vairocana Buddha and one of the finest collections of later-period Chinese jades in the U.S., including such works as the 18th-century Qing dynasty sculpture titled Jade Mountain.
Installation view, Fierce Loyalty: A Samurai Complete, October 24, 2014 — July 5, 2020.
Trammell S. Crow, president of the Crow Family Foundation and son of Trammell and Margaret Crow, has overseen the development of the museum during the past 20 years as a point of connection between the U.S. and Asia.
“We are excited to see The University of Texas at Dallas bring the museum that our parents built into a new era,” Crow said. “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.”
Amy Lewis Hofland, who has led the Crow Museum since 2002, will continue in her leadership role for both museum sites.
“This magnificent and farsighted gift from the Crow family has tremendous significance for our University’s future,” said Dr. Richard C. Benson, president of UT Dallas and the Eugene McDermott Distinguished University Chair of Leadership. “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. We are immensely gratified that the Crow family has entrusted us with ensuring that this vision be enhanced and perpetuated.
“This new strategic thrust will build upon the path-breaking endowment gift five years ago that led to the creation of the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History. The next major step forward in the role of the arts in the life of UT Dallas occurred last year with the historic gift from Richard and Luba Barrett of their entire collection of Swiss art. This new gift of the art of the Crow Museum and the funds to create a museum on campus of Asian art will provide a spectacular complement to the museum that will house the Barrett Collection. Together these gifts will provide deep and wide resources for research and teaching in the arts.”
Installation view, Hands and Earth: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics, March 9, 2019 — January 5, 2020.