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Subject: Indianapolis Museum of Art challenge grant

Indianapolis Museum of Art challenge grant

From: Kathleen Kiefer <kkiefer<-at->
Date: Wednesday, February 25, 2009
The Indianapolis Museum of Art announces a $1.75 million challenge
grant awarded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to establish an
endowment for the position of a senior conservation scientist. This
grant, which must be matched by $1.5 million within three years,
will enable the IMA to move forward immediately with conducting an
international search to fill the position, and then to establish a
state-of-the-art conservation science laboratory.

Once the scientist has been appointed, the IMA will initiate a
comprehensive plan for outfitting the center with instrumentation
funded through a previously announced grant of $2.6 million provided
by Lilly Endowment, Inc. Longer-term goals include hiring a second
scientist and implementing a fellowship program.

Once equipped and fully staffed, the lab will join other leading
institutions that have strong capacity in the field of science in
the United States including: the National Gallery of Art, the
Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and the
Getty Conservation Institute. The IMA intends to appoint a
Scientific Advisory Committee, including leaders from Indiana's
growing life sciences industry, to act as a resource for fostering
collaboration and community involvement.

The variety of objects and materials in the IMA's collections
requires a comprehensive conservation approach. Recent acquisition
trends at the IMA have expanded the range of materials entering the
collection. These acquisitions include works composed of modern
synthetic materials, acquired by a new Design Arts Department;
contemporary art commissions; and 1960s to 1990s couture garments.

The IMA's significant collection of African art provides
opportunities to explore the ethnobotanical origins of resins, dyes
and other natural products used in their making, thereby making
possible a significant contribution to a little-studied aspect of
African art. The extensive Asian ceramics collection at IMA allows
for the in-depth study of historical glaze and ceramic technology.
Additionally, IMA conservation scientists will likely pursue the
identification of ephemeral inks and paints employed by many
artists, the binding media of experimental contemporary prints, and
degradation mechanisms of modern art glass.

The conservation department, now occupying 7,700 square feet,
currently has a staff of eight conservators (in paintings, paper,
objects and textiles), two conservation technicians, a half-time
digital imaging technician, and an administrative assistant to care
for the museum's collections. Since 1977, more than 220 institutions
or public collections and more than 300 individual collectors have
been clients of the Regional Services Program at the IMA, which
works to help conserve artworks that are not a part of the Museum's
collection. IMA conservators have done other work, such as facility
surveys, collection surveys and on-site mural conservation including
the Thomas Hart Benton mural cycle at Indiana University.

Kathleen Kiefer
Senior Conservator of Textiles
Indianapolis Museum of Art
Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park
Oldfields-Lilly House and Gardens
4000 Michigan Road
Indianapolis, IN  46208-3326
317-923-1331 x155
Fax: 317-926-8931


                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 22:48
                Distributed: Thursday, February 26, 2009
                       Message Id: cdl-22-48-003
                                  ***
Received on Wednesday, 25 February, 2009

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