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CATEGORY: CONSERVATION

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MoMA’s Pollock Conservation Project: Video Update on One: Number 31, 1950


Over the past nine months, Inside/Out readers have been following MoMA’s Jackson Pollock Conservation Project, the study and restoration of three iconic Pollock paintings in the Museum’s collection. Read more

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MoMA’s Jackson Pollock Conservation Project: Insight into the Artist’s Process
Pollock at work in his studio, 1950. Photo: Hans Namuth

Jackson Pollock at work in his studio, 1950. Photo: Hans Namuth

In the May 1951 issue of ARTnews a selection of photographs by Hans Namuth appeared as illustrations for Robert Goodnough’s article, “Pollock Paints a Picture.” The images depict a focused  Pollock energetically applying paint to a large canvas spread across his studio floor. Read more

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April 15, 2013  |  Behind the Scenes, Conservation
Conserving a Nam June Paik Altered Piano
Nam June Paik. Untitled. 1993. Player piano, fifteen televisions, two cameras, two laser disc players, one electric light and light bulb, and wires. Overall approximately 8' 4" x 8' 9" x 48" (254 x 266.7 x 121.9 cm), including laser disc player and lamp. Bernhill Fund, Gerald S. Elliot Fund, gift of Margot Paul Ernst, and purchase. © 2013 Estate of Nam June Paik

Nam June Paik. Untitled. 1993. Player piano, 15 televisions, two cameras, two laser disc players, one electric light and light bulb, and wires, overall approx. 8′ 4″ x 8′ 9″ x 48″ (254 x 266.7 x 121.9 cm), including laser disc player and lamp. Bernhill Fund, Gerald S. Elliot Fund, gift of Margot Paul Ernst, and purchase. © 2013 Estate of Nam June Paik

In 1993 MoMA acquired a piano modified with a floppy-disc drive player unit. In the gallery it plays jazz show tunes really loud. The piano also has 15 cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors stacked on it. Read more

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Le Corbusier Kitchen Conservation: Examining the Cross Sections

As soon as the Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation kitchen arrived in MoMA’s sculpture conservation lab, we began assembling the various components to assess and document their condition. Read more

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MoMA’s Jackson Pollock Conservation Project: One: Number 31, 1950—Characterizing the Paint Surface Part 2
Conservation scientist Chris McGlinchey conducts elemental analysis using a handheld X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer

Conservation scientist Chris McGlinchey conducts elemental analysis using a handheld X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer

Empirical examination and scientific analysis are fundamental to conservation research and treatment; conservators frequently collaborate with scientists in order to clarify specific questions: to identify materials, elucidate degradation mechanisms, or test the efficacy of conservation methods. Read more

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Le Corbusier Kitchen Conservation: Focus on Design

The Unité d’Habitation was a landmark in modern architecture and design, and one of the first attempts to create highly designed spaces for low-income families. Along with apartments, the building included a half floor reserved for merchants, a pre-school, and a rooftop playground with wading pool and gymnasium. Le Corbusier was extremely efficient in the use of space, modeling his design on that of cruise ships, Read more

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February 22, 2013  |  Artists, Conservation, Jackson Pollock Project
MoMA’s Jackson Pollock Conservation Project: One: Number 31, 1950—Characterizing the Paint Surface Part 1
MoMA Assistant Conservator Jennifer Hickey inspects the paint surface of One: Number 31, 1950 under magnification

MoMA Assistant Conservator Jennifer Hickey inspects the paint surface of One: Number 31, 1950 under magnification

In our last post, we took a closer look at the variety of visual effects Pollock was able to achieve with his painting technique. We also observed some passages of paint that don’t appear to fit the typical characteristics of poured house paint. So we set out to investigate this seeming inconsistency. Read more

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Le Corbusier Kitchen Conservation: Getting Resourceful
Kitchen from the Unité d’Habitation, Boulevard Michelet, Marseilles, France. Charlotte Perriand and Le Corbusier.

Charlotte Perriand and Le Corbusier. Kitchen from the Unité d’Habitation, Boulevard Michelet, Marseilles, France

One of the initial challenges in conserving a design piece that has been in use for over 60 years is assessing where the work has been modified over the years by the owners, and if it is truly complete. Like in our own homes, parts of this Le Corbusier kitchen have been replaced, painted over, lost, and damaged. Read more

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January 8, 2013  |  Artists, Conservation, Jackson Pollock Project
MoMA’s Jackson Pollock Conservation Project: Looking Closely at One: Number 31, 1950
Before Treatment photograph of One: Number 31, 1950

One: Number 31, 1950 before treatment

It’s a good time to be studying and working on Jackson Pollock’s paintings. With projects also underway at the Seattle Art Museum and  The J. Paul Getty Museum Read more

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Le Corbusier Kitchen Conservation: Dismantle, Reconstruct, and Conserve
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Unité d’Habitation, Boulevard Michelet, Marseilles, France

In the fall of 2011, we traveled to a leafy suburb of Munich, Germany, to examine a kitchen that the Department of Architecture and Design hoped to purchase. When we arrived, there in the garage of a collector we found an assembled kitchen from Unité d’Habitation, Le Corbusier’s famous apartment building in Marseille. Read more