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Most of the paintings in this gallery are part of a long-term loan from the private collection of Carl and Marilynn Thoma, the most prominent assembly of South American Andean Colonial painting in the United States. They started collecting in 1996, and since 2008 established a partnership with the Blanton, which was deepened in 2016. That year they funded a curatorial position dedicated to colonial art at the museum and agreed to the long-term loan of thirty paintings from their holdings. Later, in 2019, they established an endowment gift for this area. In 2017, the partnership with the Thomas had inspired the Fundación Patricia Phelps de Cisneros to donate eighty-three pieces of furniture and paintings from colonial Venezuela. Also in 2019, thanks to philanthropic support from several museum supporters, the Blanton acquired over a hundred works from the Spanish Americas collection of Roberta and Richard Huber. As a result, the Blanton can now nurture a robust program of exhibitions, gallery rotations, and public lectures to encourage aesthetic appreciation and critical perspectives on the art production of this highly contested period of Latin American history.
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