The Atlantic has a long piece on college art museums. The story is more of a survey than an argument but, almost incidentally, the author makes the point that colleges are now building art installations as attractions.
Indeed, colleges are becoming art-tourist destinations. Last fall, the University of Texas broke ground on Ellsworth Kelly’s kaleidoscopic chapel, “Austin,” the overall design plans for which the legendary painter gifted the school’s Blanton Museum of Art just before his death. Scheduled to open in early 2018, “Austin”—and by extension, the Blanton—is destined to attract art connoisseurs from all over the world: No doubt contemporary-art buffs will make special trips to the campus just to see this structure. From the renderings, it appears the University of Texas and its donors are creating a place of grand, artistic novelty and personal reflection in the tradition of Mattise’s “Chapelle du Rosaire” in southern France and the “Rothko Chapel” in Houston.