Conservation Collaboration with MoMA

Conservation Collaboration with MoMA


NEW YORK, NY, April 5, 2001β€”In an unprecedented research study and collaboration, the conservation departments of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and The Museum of Modern Art will undertake the study, analysis, and experimental treatment of a badly damaged painting by Ad Reinhardt, Black Painting (1960–1966). The painting, considered to be in irreparable condition, is a significant work from the artist's renowned black square series. The painting was donated to the Guggenheim Museum Study Collection by AXA Nordstern Art Insurance Corporation to help develop conservation technologies that can be applied to the challenging conservation of minimalist or monochromatic works. The project will include experimentation with laser technology, as well as other cutting-edge technologies.

The two-year research study will be known as the AXA Art Conservation Project in Conjunction With The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation And The Museum Of Modern Art. It is made possible by a substantial grant from the AXA Nordstern Art Insurance Corporation, New York.

Carol Stringari, Senior Conservator of Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim who is the project leader, noted, "This is a rare opportunity to test options for preserving these types of fragile surfaces and to understand in-depth the process Ad Reinhardt used to create his work."

"Ultimately, we hope this project will provide new alternatives for successfully treating and restoring minimalist works," adds James Coddington, Chief Conservator of The Museum of Modern Art.

"What started out as the donation of an unsalvageable painting to a museum for research purposes has turned into a project embraced by some of the most renowned experts in the field of art conservation. Their findings will ultimately benefit museums, collectors, artists, scholars, conservators and, naturally, the art insurance industry," noted Dr. Dietrich von Frank, President and CEO of AXA Nordstern Art Insurance Corporation.

The donation of Reinhardt's Black Painting (1960–1966) for study purposes allows the conservators a unique opportunity to test experimental treatments directly on a damaged, historically significant painting, rather than mock-ups, and to test hypotheses and new strategies for restoring works of that particular period. The project will attempt to further define the range of conservation problems encountered with monochromatic surfaces and address them with various treatment methods, both traditional and experimental.

The Guggenheim and The Museum of Modern Art both have exemplary collections of this postwar period and are often called upon to advise others in the care and conservation of these works. This type of research project is integral to each museum's mission of preservation and care.

As the leading specialist in art and collectibles insurance, AXA Nordstern Art Insurance Corporation is committed to supporting projects and research in the field of preservation and conservation

April 5, 2001

For Press Information: Betsy Ennis
Department of Public Affairs
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Telephone: (212) 423-3840
Telefax: (212) 423-3787

Mary Lou Strahlendorff
Director of Communications
The Museum of Modern Art
Telephone: (212) 708-9755

Christiane Fischer
Director Communications
AXA Nordstern Art Insurance Corp.
Telephone: (212) 415-8427

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