DALLAS, TX.- The Dallas Museum of Art
will open its new Paintings Conservation Studio in November 2013, as part of the Museums initiative to establish a more comprehensive in-house conservation program. The launch of the Studio coincides with the installation of Daniel Burens Sanction of the Museum, 1973, a large-scale installation that was recently acquired and conserved by the DMA following nearly three decades in storage.
As part of its expanding conservation program, the DMA is also collaborating with the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of North Texas in Denton on three long-term research projects that focus on new analytical techniques and technologies for the study of artists materials. The conservation program at the DMA is led by Chief Conservator Mark Leonard and will be supported by the newly appointed Associate Conservator of Objects, Fran Baas.
The Paintings Conservation Studio features state-of-the-art technologyincluding a digital x-ray systemand will serve as a center for study and treatment of works of art as well as research into cutting-edge conservation methodologies. The Studio is adjoined by an exhibition gallery, which will highlight the works of art on view with a conservation perspective. Enclosed by a glass wall, the Studios design will allow visitors to the Conservation Gallery to observe daily activity beginning on November 1, 2013, providing audiences with a singular behind-the-scenes experience. An adjacent outdoor Sculpture Terrace will exhibit works from the DMAs collection, and also provide visual access to the new Studio.
The launch of these new conservation initiatives supports the DMAs commitment to responsible stewardship of our collection, and the advancement of conservation research and practices in the region and across the museum field, said Maxwell L. Anderson, the Museums Eugene McDermott Director. We look forward to strengthening the DMAs culture of conservation with the opening of this new facility and integrating conservation into the fabric of the Museum experience for the benefit and enjoyment of our community.
In conjunction with the launch of its conservation studio, the DMA has also announced the acquisition of Sanction of the Museum, 1973, a major work by the French artist Daniel Buren that is among the most significant objects to be conserved at the Museum. An environmental installation consisting of six massive canvas sheets suspended in space, Sanction of the Museum underwent a substantial conservation process upon entering the Museums collection last year, including treatments to all six panels. The newly conserved work will be installed on the Museums Concourse, above the entrance to the Sculpture Garden and the Hoffman Galleries, on August 12, prior to a formal dedication timed to the inauguration of the Paintings Conservation Studio on November 18.
Concurrent with the growth of its in-house conservation capabilities, the DMA is also establishing a network of regional conservation partnerships in conjunction with museums in North Texas that engage local universities to collaborate on conservation research and the study of individual works. The DMA and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art are currently working with the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of North Texas in Denton on conservation projects. Examples range from the study of ultramarine pigment discoloration and the pigment and medium analysis of a work by Paul Gauguin from the Museums collection with UT Dallas, to the development of atomic sampling techniques for silverplated objects with UNT. The anticipated growth of this regional network will expand the impact of the DMAs conservation activities and establish productive new relationships across the conservation field.
By building external research partnerships to complement the renewed investments in our own conservation activities, the DMA is ensuring that the positive outcomes of our conservation activity will extend well beyond our own collection, said Mark Leonard, who recently completed the first year of his tenure as the Museums inaugural chief conservator. The continuing growth of the DMAs conservation program will help to ensure that masterworks from across time periods and around the world are preserved for future generations.
To support the DMAs growing focus on conservation, the DMA has appointed Fran Baas to join the Museum as associate conservator. With her expertise in the field of objects and textile conservation, she will work closely with Leonard and the Museums senior staff to integrate the activities of the conservation program across every area of the collection.
Construction and equipping of the new Paintings Conservation Studio was catalyzed by an anonymous lead gift. Additional support was provided by the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation, the Graham Williford Foundation for American Art, a private donation from Suzanne Deal Booth and David G. Booth of Austin, Texas, and another anonymous gift.