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CATEGORY: CONSERVATION

Posts in ‘Conservation’
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October 31, 2013  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Conservation
The Discovery of Magritte’s The Enchanted Pose

As indicated in the previous post in this series, MoMA paintings conservators Cindy Albertson, Anny Aviram, and Michael Duffy have been studying five Magritte paintings for the past two years in preparation for Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary 1926–1938. Read more

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Revealing the Mystery of Magritte’s Materials and Techniques
From left to right: Conservators Michael Duffy, Anny Aviram, and Cindy Albertson, and Curator Anne Umland in MoMA's Paintings Conservation Lab with René Magritte’s The False Mirror, The Palace of Curtains, III, and The Portrait

From left to right: Conservators Michael Duffy, Anny Aviram, and Cindy Albertson, and Curator Anne Umland in MoMA’s paintings conservation lab with René Magritte’s The False Mirror; The Palace of Curtains, III; and The Portrait

In his polemical 1938 speech “La Ligne de vie (Lifeline),” René Magritte spoke of his “objective representation of objects,” claiming that, “In my view, this detached way of representing things is characteristic of a universal style in which the manias and minor preferences of the individual no longer play any part.” Read more

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MoMA’s Jackson Pollock Conservation Project: Number 1A, 1948
Jackson Pollock. Number 1A, 1948.  1948. Oil and enamel paint on canvas,  68" x 8’8". The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase. © 2013 Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Jackson Pollock. Number 1A, 1948. 1948. Oil and enamel paint on canvas, 68″ x 8’8″. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase. © 2013 Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

With study and treatment of One: Number 31, 1950 completed and the painting returned to exhibition, we’re moving on to the final painting of the project: Number 1A, 1948. Read more

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MoMA’s Jackson Pollock Conservation Project: Wrapping Up Treatment of One: Number 31, 1950
A meeting between conservators and curators to view <em>One: Number 31, 1950</em>

A meeting between conservators and curators to view One: Number 31, 1950 as Pollock would have during its creation: laid horizontally

Throughout the project, we’ve been working closely with curators in MoMA’s Department of Painting and Sculpture, and this exchange of ideas surrounding Pollock has enriched and informed the treatment process. During one such meeting, we took advantage of the opportunity to view One: Number 31,1950 as Pollock saw it during its inception: laid horizontally. Read more

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Le Corbusier Kitchen Conservation: Video Update

In the March of 2012, conservators in MoMA’s sculpture conservation lab undertook a yearlong treatment of an original kitchen by Charlotte Perriand and Le Corbusier from the seminal urban construction the Unite d’Habitation. All of the kitchen components (including the drain!) were transported from Marseilles, France, to our lab in New York City, and reassembled for research and treatment. Read more

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May 8, 2013  |  Behind the Scenes, Conservation
Conserving a Nam June Paik Altered Piano, Part 2


After exhaustive research prior to conserving Untitled (Piano), it was time for reflection. MoMA curators and conservators discussed the difficult decisions ahead. We knew that Nam June Paik playfully changed his works with each installation, and often incorporated new audio and video technologies into his older video sculptures. Should we continue this tradition, or freeze the existing technologies at the moment of his death? Read more

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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