Francesca Esmay

Conservator, Panza Collection

Francesca Esmay joined the Guggenheim staff in 2010 as part of the Panza Collection Initiative (PCI), a three-year research project funded by the Mellon Foundation that addresses the long-term preservation and future exhibition of artworks from the collection of Minimalist, Post-Minimalist, and Conceptual art acquired from Italian collector Giuseppe Panza di Biumo in 1991 and 1992. The goal of the PCI is to ensure that these exceptional holdings are researched, preserved, and presented to the public with proper consideration for historical context, material integrity, and artistic intention. The first phase of this project is dedicated to the examination of works by Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Bruce Nauman, Robert Morris, and Lawrence Weiner.

Esmay comes to the Guggenheim from the Dia Art Foundation, where she served from 2006 to 2010 as the organization's first conservator and initiated a comprehensive conservation and collections-care program. From 2001 to 2006, she worked in a similar capacity as the first conservator at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, overseeing conservation and collections care for the museum's permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.

With broad experience in the examination and treatment of a wide variety of modern and contemporary artworks, Esmay has pursued numerous conservation research projects, ranging from determining ways to measure the color and intensity of Flavin's fluorescent lights to establishing methods to document Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty (1970) using aerial balloon photography.

Esmay holds a master of science in architectural conservation from Columbia University and a bachelor of arts in art history from New York University.

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