Nineteenth-century plaque of a crowned Buddha, part of the Trammell and Margaret Crow Museum of Asian Art collection donated to the University of Texas at Dallas.
The family of Trammell and Margaret Crow has donated $23 million as well as its entire collection of Asian art to the University of Texas at Dallas in support of the construction of a new museum that will be named in their honor. The family’s holdings of Asian art includes more than one thousand works dating from antiquity to present times. The collection also contains a library of over twelve thousand books, catalogues, and journals.
The late Trammell and Margaret Crow began assembling the collection in the 1960s. Trammell, a real estate developer who at one point owned eight thousand properties in over one hundred cities, was called the largest landlord in the United States by the Wall Street Journal in 1986. During numerous business trips to Asia he developed an interest in art, and over the course of three decades he amassed a vast collection, comprising a six-foot Ming dynasty seated Vairocana Buddha and a large collection of later-period Chinese jades.
Part of the collection is on view at the Trammell and Margaret Crow Museum of Asian Art, which the university operates in a small space in Dallas’s arts district downtown, where it has been located for more than twenty years. The university will continue to run the venue, which was established by the Crow family in 1998, after the campus museum is built. Amy Lewis Hofland, who has led the Crow Museum since 2002, will continue in her leadership role for both museum sites.
“Like the gift of art from Avery Brundage to the City of San Francisco more than fifty years ago to found the Asian Art Museum, the Crow Museum joining forces with the University of Texas at Dallas forges another powerful connection between Asia, the United States, and beyond,” said Jay Xu, director and CEO of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. “I look forward to partnering with both institutions in showcasing how beautiful artworks, and the living cultures that created them, can expand a conversation for all to participate in.”