Conservator Announced for the Panza Conservation Initiative

Francesca Esmay

This summer, the Guggenheim Foundation named Francesca Esmay as Conservator for the Panza Collection Initiative. Made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the initiative will allow the Guggenheim to undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the Panza Collection, focusing initially on the work of Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Bruce Nauman, and Lawrence Weiner.

Esmay comes to the Guggenheim from 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, Esmay worked in a similar capacity as the first conservator to the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, overseeing conservation, registration and installation 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 art works, Esmay has pursued numerous conservation research projects, ranging from establishing cleaning methods for Donald Judd’s plywood sculptures to determining ways to measure the color and intensity of Dan Flavin’s fluorescent lights. Most recently, Esmay has worked on 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 prior to her graduate studies, obtained extensive experience in the field of object conservation at the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, both in New York, and the Donald Judd Estate in Marfa, Texas.

Esmay joins our distinguished Panza Collection Initiative team whose work on the project commenced in full in the summer of 2010.

Photo: Rémy Amezcua


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