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Seminal Jackson Pollock painting "Sea Change" being restored at the Seattle Art Museum
Nicholas Dorman, chief conservator for the Seattle Art Museum, talks about his on-going restoration work of Jackson Pollock's painting Sea Change during a news conference Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012, at the museum in Seattle. The celebrated piece, part of SAM's permanent collection, was painted in 1947 and altered in 1970 with a coat of varnish. Dorman is several months into the restoration work, which is complicated by the uneven surface and multiple layers of media, including several types of paint and imbedded gravel. The restoration is sponsored by Bank of America's Art Conservation Project, which enabled SAM staff and consulting experts to undertake a study of the original materials and evaluate the impact of materials used in conservation treatments. AP Photo/Elaine Thompson.
SEATTLE, WA.- Seattle Art Museum has received funding for the conservation of Jackson Pollock’s Sea Change (1947) through the Bank of America Art Conservation Project. The Art Conservation Project is a unique global program that provides grants to nonprofit museums throughout the world to conserve historically or culturally significant works of art that are in danger of degeneration, including works that have been designated as national treasures.

Sea Change is a cornerstone work in SAM’s modern collection and a significant painting in Pollock’s career. Funding has enabled SAM staff and consulting experts to undertake a thorough technical study of the original materials of the painting and an evaluation of the impact of materials applied in later conservation treatments. The conservation treatment focuses on removing the later restoration in order to recover a surface that more closely reflects Pollock’s original technique and intent.

Pollock is perhaps the best known abstract expressionist painter from the 1940s and 1950s. His painterly style was labeled "action painting" in reference to the electric energy and movement contained in his canvases. Sea Change was part of a breakthrough group of early 'transitional' works that Pollock made in 1947, which led away from figuration toward a fully abstract application of his drip technique.

“Bank of America’s award of this art conservation grant creates a lasting legacy for Sea Change, which is one of the anchors of our collection,” said Nicholas Dorman, Chief Conservator at the Seattle Art Museum. “We are extremely grateful to Bank of America for helping us preserve this important work and the lasting benefits it will bring the museum and the entire Northwest.”

Other United States museums who were awarded Art Conservation Project grants for 2012 include The Menil Collection for the restoration of twelve John Chamberlain sculptures, The Guggenheim’s Woman Ironing by Pablo Picasso and the National Gallery of Art for the restoration of eight Gilbert Stuart portraits.

“Our program makes real investments in cultural treasures throughout the world while also allowing us to help our local museums with the growing cost of art conservation,” said Bob Peters, Washington state market president, Bank of America. “Bank of America is honored to help preserve this seminal painting by such an important American artist and to support SAM, a world-class institution that plays such a vital role in Seattle’s vibrant culture and economy.”



Today's News

November 29, 2012

Seminal Jackson Pollock painting "Sea Change" being restored at the Seattle Art Museum

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