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Guggenheim Museum Appoints Jeffrey Weiss as Curator, Panza Collection
Installation view of RUSSIA!, 2005. Photo: David M. Heald © The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York.
NEW YORK, NY.- Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum, today announced the appointment of Jeffrey Weiss to the newly established position of Curator, Panza Collection. The creation of the position is part of the Panza Collection Conservation Initiative (PCCI), which was announced last month along with a major grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation of $1.23 million to support the first phase of this project. This phase will undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the Minimalist, Post-Minimalist, and Conceptual artworks, from the 1960s through the 1970s, in the Guggenheim’s Panza Collection.

“We are enormously pleased that Jeffrey Weiss will join the Guggenheim as the first Panza Curator,” said Mr. Armstrong. “Jeffrey’s experience and stature as a curator and scholar, and his expertise in Minimalist and Post-Minimalist art makes this a particularly meaningful union. Jeffrey will help lead a team of curators, conservators, and scientists that will undertake an interdisciplinary study and dialogue as part of what is envisioned as a long-term plan of action to address all works in the Panza Collection.” Mr. Armstrong continued, “Many of the works in the collection, particularly those by Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, and Bruce Nauman, are ephemeral, thus posing unique challenges to curators and conservators who strive to accurately exhibit and sustain the work for generations to come.”

The PCCI was conceived by Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Deputy Director and Chief Curator Nancy Spector and Deputy Director and Chief Conservator Carol Stringari, who will remain integral to and head the project. “The Panza Collection provides a critical opportunity to explore the shifting views on preserving works that have multiple historical iterations or that can be refabricated; this inevitably raises trenchant museological issues involving institutional responsibility, collection management policies, market pressures, and artists’ rights,” they said.

“The Panza Collection Conservation Initiative is a remarkable opportunity to push our collective conversation about Minimalist and Post-Minimalist art in new directions,” said Mr. Weiss. “Everything about it falls at the center of my own recent interests as a curator and scholar. I am thrilled to be collaborating on this project with my colleagues at the museum.”

As part of the Panza Collection Conservation Initiative, Mr. Armstrong announced the appointment of Ted Mann as Associate Curator, Panza Collection, and also announced the newly created position of Panza Conservator, which will be filled in the near future.

During the first phase of the project, case studies will be constructed around the work of four artists in the Guggenheim’s Panza Collection: Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Bruce Nauman, and Lawrence Weiner. This process will entail exhaustive research on the history and fabrication of the works, as well as extensive interviews with artists (or their estates) and former studio assistants, along with curators and conservators with related expertise. The goal is to assemble comprehensive information regarding the artists’ practices, with particular attention paid to the production and installation of works. Specific artworks from the Panza Collection will then be assembled and studied with help from a special Advisory Committee, promoting an exchange that will contribute toward the establishment of standards that will influence interpretation and long-term preservation.

Before joining the Guggenheim Museum, Mr. Weiss was an independent curator and critic based in New York. Between 2000 and 2007, he was Curator and Head of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. From 2007 to 2008, he served as Director of the Dia Art Foundation, New York, but left to return to academic and curatorial work. Since that time he has been teaching at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University’s graduate school of art history, where he will retain his position as Adjunct Professor of Fine Art. Mr. Weiss has organized exhibitions on Jasper Johns, Pablo Picasso, and Mark Rothko, and has contributed to and edited catalogues for those projects. At the National Gallery, Mr. Weiss also built significant museum holdings of 1960s and 1970s artwork. He was also the editor of Dan Flavin: New Light, a 2006 anthology of essays from Yale University Press. Widely published in various periodicals on modern and postwar art, Mr. Weiss’s writings are also regularly featured in Artforum. He is currently at work on a complete catalogue of the early object sculptures of Robert Morris and on Material Uncanny, a book concerning various topics in Minimalist and Post-Minimalist art. Mr. Weiss holds a Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts.

From 2001 to 2008, Mr. Mann held various positions at the Guggenheim Museum, most recently that of Assistant Curator for Collections, a position in which he was responsible for curating collection exhibitions and researching and writing about the permanent collection for exhibition catalogues,, and other museum publications. Exhibitions to which Mr. Mann contributed include: The Shapes of Space (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 2007); Passages: Beuys, Darboven, Kiefer, Richter (Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, 2006–07); Marc Chagall: Selections from the Collection (Guggenheim Museum, 2005–06); and Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated): Art from 1951 to the Present (Guggenheim Museum, 2004). At the Guggenheim Museum, Mr. Mann also published essays for a variety of exhibition catalogues. Since 2008 he has been pursuing his Ph.D. at the Institute of Fine Arts.

Mr. Weiss will begin work in August and Mr. Mann in early June.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum | Nancy Spector | Carol Stringari | Jeffrey Weiss | Panza Collection |

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