Philanthropic Updates from The University of Texas at Dallas

Unprecedented Gifts Transform the Arts at UT Dallas

By Daniel Steele  |  February 28, 2019

Barrett Collection Largest Gift in UTD History

The University of Texas at Dallas is now home to the finest collection of Swiss art outside of Switzerland. The Barrett Collection, comprised of over 400 paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints, was donated to UT Dallas by Luba and Richard Barrett, becoming the largest gift ever made to the University and the largest collection of art gifted to any school in The University of Texas System.

With works dating from the late 14th through the mid20th century, the Barrett Collection includes important pieces by every major artist born in Switzerland. It is considered to be the largest private collection of Swiss art ever formed.

The Barrett Collection will be housed in a new Barrett Museum to be built on campus. In addition to the artwork itself, funding from the Barrett Collection Foundation will support future acquisitions, including works by post-World War II and contemporary Swiss artists.


Augusto Giacometti, Amaryllis, 1942.

“We have benefited so much from our city of Dallas and are glad to have an opportunity to give something back,” said Richard Barrett. “Our wish is for our collection to remain intact and have a permanent, public home in our own city as well as in Texas. The building of the Barrett Museum on the UTD campus not only will achieve that, but will enable the collection to continue to grow through future support from the Barrett Collection Foundation. Our dearest hope is that this gift will enhance the cultural fabric of this fine university.”

Dr. Richard Brettell, founding director of the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, noted the unique impact this gift will have being housed at a research university.

“The creation of a museum with a collection of this breadth and depth of Swiss art at its core is unprecedented in the United States,” he said. “But bringing this collection to a major research university makes the significance of the gift even greater. The focus and range of the Barrett Collection will spark many new dissertations, articles and books written by our graduate students and faculty.”

Crow Family Donates Asian Art, $23 Million


Vase, Qing dynasty, 18th century.

UT Dallas also recently acquired the Trammell and Margaret Crow Museum of Asian Art. The Crow family donated the entirety of their renowned collection, along with $23 million of support funding, to the University. The Crow Museum will continue to operate in its current space in the downtown Dallas Arts District, with a second museum to be built on the UT Dallas campus.

The Crow Museum’s growing permanent collection demonstrates the diversity of Asian art, boasting more than 1,000 works from Cambodia, China (including Tibet), 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.

“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,” said Trammell S. Crow, president of the Crow Family Foundation and son of Trammell and Margaret Crow.

A New Era for the Arts

These gifts come at a time when UT Dallas has placed a renewed emphasis on the arts. The creation of the Edith O’Donnell Institute for Art History in 2014 was the first major step in supplementing UTD’s traditional expertise in STEM fields with an innovative approach to research and education in the history of art. The acquisitions of the Barrett Collection and Crow Museum mark a significant expansion of these efforts and will make UT Dallas a premier destination for art appreciation and study.

“Together, these gifts will provide deep and wide resources for research and teaching in the arts,” said Dr. Richard C. Benson, president of UT Dallas. “Beyond these fundamental academic virtues, the museums on campus will drive a much deeper engagement with our community, and the original museum will provide UT Dallas with a distinguished presence in the Dallas Arts District alongside other vital educational and cultural organizations.”

Relevance: Giving, Momentum