Conservation

Julie Barten at work in the Guggenheim's conservation lab

CONSERVATION WORK IN NEED OF FUNDING

Panza Collection Conservation Initiative
With a major commitment from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in place toward the second phase of the Panza Collection Initiative, additional support is needed to allow the Guggenheim to undertake and complete subsequent phases of the project. As the repository of the renowned Panza Collection, one of the most significant collections of Minimalist, Post-Minimalist, and Conceptual art in the world, the Guggenheim is uniquely positioned to investigate how to address the long-term preservation and display of works emerging from these genres. The Panza Collection Initiative is utilizing these holdings to develop solutions for the conservation of seminal pieces of American culture from the 1960s and 1970s. The project is organized around a series of case studies of major 20th-century artists who are represented in depth in the Panza Collection, beginning with Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Bruce Nauman, and Lawrence Weiner. The investigation of works by other artists will begin following the conclusion of the first phase of the project in August 2013.

Thannhauser Frame Project
In 2006, the Guggenheim commenced the Thannhauser Frame Project, an ongoing initiative to restore or replace several frames for paintings in the museum’s holdings, with a focus on works that are part of the Thannhauser Collection. This collection formally entered the Guggenheim’s holding in 1978—later augmented by additional gifts made between 1984 and 1991—and includes Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and modern French masterpieces. When first accessioned, the works were removed from their period or antique frames and reinstalled with plain white or surface gilded shadow frames, in keeping with the Guggenheim’s typical framing style. Several years later, in the early 1990s, the decision was made to return the Thannhauser Collection paintings to their period frames. It soon became apparent, however, that the condition of the frames did not match that of the works, which had been cleaned and restored in the 1980s. In 2006, the museum completed an extensive survey and developed the plan for the Thannhauser Frame Project. In addition to restoring period frames that are still in the Guggenheim’s possession, the museum acquires period frames or commissions reproductions when an original period frame cannot be obtained. Near-term goals for the project include locating period frames for Paul Cézanne’s Plate of Peaches (1879-80) and Vincent van Gogh’s Landscape with Snow (1888), and reframing Georges Braque’s Landscape near Antwerp (1906), for which a reproduction frame was recently commissioned. In the long-term, the project aims to ensure that the Thannhauser Collection is displayed in a manner that is appropriate to the historical context of the works contained therein and that enhances their overall presentation and appearance at the Guggenheim.

Julie Barten at work in the Guggenheim's conservation lab. Photo: David Heald © The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York

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