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Laumeier Sculpture Park receives grant to support conservation of a major art work by Donald Judd
The grant is part of NEA announcement of 788 Art Works grants and $24.81 million in funding nationwide.
ST. LOUIS, MO.- Laumeier Sculpture Park has been awarded a $100,000 Art Works grant by the National Endowment for the Arts, the full amount requested. The park is one of two recipients in Missouri to be awarded this grant. Chairman Rocco Landesman recently announced that NEA plans to award $24.81 million to 788 not-for-profit organizations nationwide under the Art Works category with an average granting amount of $31,490.

“The arts should be a part of everyday life,” said Chairman Landesman, “Whether it’s seeing a performance, visiting a gallery, participating in an art class, or simply taking a walk around a neighborhood enhanced by public art, these grants are ensuring that across the nation, the public is able to experience how art works.” Laumeier will use these funds to undertake a major conservation project on one of its signature works, Untitled, 1984, by Donald Judd.

“The granting of this award signifies that the NEA recognizes the important contribution Laumeier continues to make in the contemporary art world,” said Laumeier’s Executive Director, Marilu Knode. “Specifically, with this award we can continue our commitment to restoring and preserving works that have great meaning for art history, Laumeier and our visitors. Donald Judd played a critical role in articulating the conceptual grounding for Minimal artists and Untitled was an important experiment that informed the artist’s subsequent work.”

Judd’s work, one of his concrete “topographic objects”, has suffered from natural and human-caused degradation over the past twenty-seven years. Working with The Judd Foundation and experienced colleagues familiar with similar conservation projects, Laumeier has developed a treatment designed to strengthen the sculpture’s foundation and to halt continued fracturing, bowing and hardware leeching and separation. A 41-foot concrete base will be poured underground to support all three cubes, which will then float individually on 8 x 8 feet pads poured on top of the base. This new foundation will maintain the artist’s intentions by allowing the ground and air to flow between each of the units while ensuring the works’ longevity. Full conservation of Untitled will take approximately 11 months.

Since its inception in 1976, Laumeier has presented over 500 artists in 160 indoor/outdoor exhibitions, special events and performances. The park played a leading role in the 1980s in outdoor, site-specific commissions and continues that practice today. Laumeier has been actively engaged with artists in the proper execution, placement, conservation and interpretation of their works and major restoration projects are undertaken at pivotal points in an art work’s life.

The NEA received 1,624 eligible applications under the Art Works category for this round of funding, requesting more than $78 million in funding to support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts.

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