School of Arts and Humanities News

Crow Family Gives Complete Asian Art Collection, $23 Million to UT Dallas


UT Dallas President Richard C. Benson and Amy Lewis Hofland, director of the Trammell and Margaret Crow Museum of Asian Art, talk about the museum’s collection and the impact of the gift to the University. If you don’t see the video, watch it on Vimeo.

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 The University of Texas at 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 Trammell and Margaret Crow Museum of Asian Art 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, which will allow for a wider range of the full collection to be viewed by the public.

This plaque of a crowned Buddha from the 19th century is part of the Trammell and Margaret Crow Museum of Asian Art collection donated to UT Dallas.

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, Tibet 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 United States. At one point in the mid-1980s, he was said to be 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 unique and 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 United States, including such works as the 18th-century Qing dynasty sculpture titled Jade Mountain.

“Like the gift of art from Avery Brundage to the City of San Francisco more than 50 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 Dr. 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.”

In 1998, the Crow family opened the current museum with the goal of keeping the collection intact and increasing the American public’s knowledge and appreciation of the arts and cultures of Asia. 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.”

Read the entire article on the UT Dallas News Center.