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Project: The Panza Collection Initiative

In 2010, with the support of a major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum launched the Panza Collection Initiative (PCI), an ambitious initiative to address the long-term preservation and future exhibition of artworks of the 1960s and 1970s. Led by curator and scholar Jeffrey Weiss and conservator Francesca Esmay, the PCI is focused on the extensive collection of Minimalist, Post-Minimalist, and Conceptual art that the museum acquired from Italian collector Giuseppe Panza di Biumo in 1991 and 1992. Its goal is to ensure that these exceptional holdings are researched, preserved, and presented to the public with proper consideration for historical context, material integrity, and artistic intention. By evaluating specific works, the initiative also aims to develop a broader framework through which to address the long-term sustainability of other variable, ephemeral, or fabrication-based artworks of this era. See the Guggenheim website for more information.
 
This project was precededby research done from 2001.
In April 2001 Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and The Museum of Modern Art started a research study and collaboration to explore new technologies in conservation of minimalist paintings. Chief conservators Carol Stringari and James Coddington undertake the study, analysis, and experimental treatment of a badly damaged painting by Ad Reinhardt, 'Black Painting' (1960-1966). The painting was donated to the Guggenheim Museum Study Collection by AXA Nordstern Art Insurance Corporation to help develop conservation technologies that can be applied to the challenging conservation of minimalist or monochromatic works. The project will include experimentation with laser technology, as well as other cutting-edge technologies. The project will attempt to further define the range of conservation problems encountered with monochromatic surfaces and address them with various treatment methods, both traditional and experimental. An exhibition showing the results of this research took place in 2008.

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