Guggenheim Museum receives a $3 million endowment grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Thursday, March 24, 2016
Guggenheim Museum receives a $3 million endowment grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has received a $3 million endowment grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the continuing work of the museum’s Conservation Department. A longtime pioneer in the field of contemporary art conservation, the Guggenheim established the Variable Media Initiative in 1999 to advance the preservation of media and performance-based works in its permanent collection.

Guggenheim Museum receives a $3 million endowment grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has received a $3 million endowment grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the continuing work of the museum’s Conservation Department. The grant, to be matched two-to-one, is designated specifically to endow the position of Deputy Director and Chief Conservator, held since 2007 by Carol Stringari, and a new position, Director of Engagement, Conservation and Collections. 

The Conservation Department—comprised of nine conservators who specialize in paintings, paper, time-based media, and objects of the late nineteenth century to the present—plays an integral role in the research, preservation, and presentation of the Guggenheim’s collection. A longtime pioneer in the field of contemporary art conservation, the Guggenheim established the Variable Media Initiative in 1999 to advance the preservation of media and performance-based works in its permanent collection. This initiative prompted a focus on the preservation of unconventional art forms that include conceptual, installation, performance, and time-based elements. In 2010 and 2013, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded the Panza Collection Initiative, a groundbreaking conservation and curatorial program designed to address the long-term preservation and future exhibition of the Guggenheim’s Panza Collection, which contains Minimalist, Post-Minimalist, and Conceptual artworks.

The recently established Conserving Computer-Based Art project, the first program focusing on this subject, aims to develop, implement, and disseminate best practices for the acquisition, preservation, maintenance, and display of computer-based art. The Guggenheim is one of the few institutions in the United States with a dedicated staff and facility for the conservation of art created through time-based media, such as video, film, slide, and audio, or computer-based technologies. The conservation team also serves to mentor and train interns and fellows and functions as a think tank and laboratory for New York University computer science students.

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Luc Tuymans, Flemish Village 1995.  Collection MuHKA, Antwerp

Luc Tuymans, Flemish Village 1995. Collection MuHKA, Antwerp

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