Carol Stringari Wins CAA/Heritage Preservation Award

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Installation view of Imageless: The Scientific Study and Experimental Treatment of an Ad Reinhardt Black Painting

On January 13, 2009, the College Art Association named Carol Stringari, Chief Conservator of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, winner of its annual CAA/Heritage Preservation Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation for Imageless: The Scientific Study and Experimental Treatment of an Ad Reinhardt Black Painting.

The exhibition, on view at the Guggenheim Museum from July 11–September 14, 2008, examined the conservation of Ad Reinhardt's Black Painting, 1960–66 (1960–66) which was donated to the Guggenheim in 2000 by AXA Art Insurance Corporation as a study painting after it was deemed irreparably damaged. Over the course of seven years, conservators, scientists, curators, and artists collaborated to examine the issues surrounding the conservation of this painting, including the inherent vulnerability of monochromatic and minimalist paintings to the aesthetics of aging, experimental solutions for conservation, and the associated ethics of these strategies.

In announcing the award, the CAA noted that Stringari's efforts, along with Chris McGlinchey of the Museum of Modern Art, who shared the award, produced "a major advance in the understanding of Ad Reinhardt's materials and
techniques . . . [through] the improvement of a relatively new conservation technique, laser ablation, and the presentation of the damaged work together with pristine examples by the artist and a lucid explanation of the treatment and findings."

Learn more about the Guggenheim's conservation team.

Installation view of Imageless: The Scientific Study and Experimental Treatment of an Ad Reinhardt Black Painting. Photo: Kristopher McKay