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Bank of America Announces Unique Art Conservation Project


CHARLOTTE – Bank of America today announced the launch of The Art Conservation Project, a major initiative to help conserve important works of art and cultural treasures across the United States. The Art Conservation Project will provide grants to select institutions for the restoration of paintings, sculpture, archaeological or architectural pieces and other media in order to retain their cultural value for future generations.

“We are thrilled to announce the launch of the Art Conservation Project in the United States,” said Rena De Sisto, Global Arts and Culture executive at Bank of America. “Bank of America believes it is very important to invest in preserving works of art to help drive cultural awareness and understanding. Art conservation consumes an increasingly larger portion of art institutions’ budgets, and at the same time, the technology for conservation has become more effective and sophisticated. With this project, we aim to elevate understanding of the need for conservation support, while at the same time providing support for works that are in danger of degeneration.”

The Bank of America Art Conservation Project was piloted in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in 2010, and provided funding to restore a diverse range of works of art in 10 countries. These works include among others:

* Pablo Picasso’s Mujer en azul (Woman in Blue) from the collection at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid;
* The Winged Victory of Samothrace from Musée du Louvre in Paris;
* A collection of handmade beaded aprons at the Wits Art Museum in Johannesburg, created from the 1950s to the 1980s and worn by girls of the Ndebele people from South Africa.

As a company doing business in more than 150 countries around the globe, this program represents Bank of America’s commitment to building greater cultural understanding as well as strong communities through its Arts and Culture programming.

The company’s arts program supports nonprofit arts organizations across the world, including community-based arts organizations as well as leading world class organizations. Bank of America is the global sponsor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the international tour of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, and the Bridge Project, a theater project that travels the world to create common cultural experiences for people of many nations. Other programs include the Museums on Us® program, which offers US-based customers free access to 150 of America’s finest cultural institutions and Art in our Communities®, a program through which the company shares its corporate collection with museums throughout the world.

Applications for the Bank of America Art Conservation Project are welcome from all non-profit cultural institutions across the U.S. with significant works of art requiring conservation. The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2011.

In 2011, Bank of America will seek applications from nonprofit arts organizations in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

For more information and to apply, please visit:

Bank of America Art Conservation Project
2010 Case Study – ‘Picasso goes back to Blue’

Woman in Blue, Pablo Ruiz Picasso. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid

Woman in Blue, painted in 1901 by a young Picasso at the beginning of his ‘Blue Period,’ is one of the Reina Sofia’s most important and popular works, with approximately two million visitors viewing it every year. Over recent decades, following an earlier restoration procedure involving the liberal application of varnish, Woman in Blue became greener than her intended blue. The contrast between lighter and darker areas consequently seemed more muddied, and the painting lost much of its original drama.

The restoration effort is currently being carried out by a team of eight experts in the Reina Sofia’s own conservation studio, who have carried out close analysis of the painting using visible light macro photography, infrared reflectography, UV light and radiography. They will shortly begin to remove the layer of varnish in order to reveal the painting’s original colors, as well as leaving Picasso’s first brushstrokes more clearly visible and more easily appreciated. The Woman in Blue will be back on public display in September 2011, and visitors to the museum will finally be able to view her in all her former glory.

Bank of America and the Arts
As one of the world’s largest financial institutions and a major supporter of arts and culture, Bank of America has a vested interest and plays a meaningful role in the international dialogue on cultural understanding. As a global company, Bank of America demonstrates its commitment to the arts by supporting such efforts as after-school arts programs, grants to help expand libraries, programs to conserve artistic heritage as well as a campaign to encourage museum attendance. Bank of America offers customers free access to more than 150 of the nation’s finest cultural institutions through its acclaimed Museums on Us® program, while Art in our Communities® shares exhibits from the company’s corporate collection with communities across the globe through local museum partners. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation also provides philanthropic support to museums, theaters and other arts-related nonprofits to expand their services and offerings to schools and communities. Bank of America partners with more than six thousand arts institutions worldwide.


Notes to Editors:

Details of all pieces receiving funding from the Bank of America Art Conservation Project in 2010:

Arab Image Foundation, Beirut

* Latif el Ani (Iraqi, b. 1932) photography collection
* Hashem el Madani (Lebanese, b. 1928) photography collection

The Courtauld Gallery, London

* Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577-1640) Cain Slaying Abel, 1608-1609, oil on panel

Monastero della Certosa del Galluzzo, Florence

* Jacopo Carucci Pontormo (Italian, 1494-1557) Road to Calvary, lunette from the fresco cycle of The Passion, 1523-1525, fresco (transferred), restored through the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi

Musée des Beaux-Arts Jules Chéret, Nice

* Agnolo Tori di Cosimo di Mariano known as Bronzino (Italian, 1503-1572) Crucified Christ, ca. 1540, oil on panel, restored through the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi

Musée du Louvre, Paris

* Winged Victory of Samothrace, 190 BC, marble sculpture, Greece

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid

* Pablo Ruiz Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973) Woman in Blue, ca. 1901, oil on canvas

National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin

* Daniel Maclise (Irish, 1806-1870) The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife, 1854, oil on canvas

Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco, Milan

* Agnolo Tori di Cosimo di Mariano known as Bronzino (Italian, 1503-1572) Portrait of Lorenzo Lenzi, 1527-1528, oil on panel, restored through the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi

The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
Three works by Vigilius Eriksen (Danish, 1722-1783):

* Portrait of Catherine the Great in her Coronation Robes, 1762, oil on canvas
* Portrait of Grigory Orlov in Roman Armour, 1766-1772, oil on canvas
* Portrait of Alexey Orlov in Turkish Dress, 1766-1772, oil on canvas

Städel Museum, Frankfurt

* Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (German, 1880-1938) Scene in a Forest (Mortizburg Ponds) (recto) and Nude in the Studio (verso), ca. 1910, oil on canvas

Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest

* Agnolo Tori di Cosimo di Mariano known as Bronzino (Italian, 1503-1572) Allegory with Venus and Cupid, 1545, oil on panel, restored through the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi

Westminster Abbey Foundation, London
National treasures, coronation materials, rare medieval objects, manuscripts and books, documents and drawings:

* Cosmati Pavement, mosaic tile,1268
* Portrait of Richard II Enthroned in Coronation Robes, paint on wooden panels, ca. 1398
* Stained glass panel depicting the head of Catherine of Aragon, early 16th century
* Liber Regalis, illuminated manuscript on vellum, 1382
* Coronation of Elizabeth II Silk Embroidery Panels for Regalia Table and Royal Boxes, 1953
* Purcell Coronation Music, 1685
* Mary II Coronation Chair, 1689
* Portrait of Elizabeth I, paint on woodpanels, mid 18th century, painted over original of 1594
* Wren Model, wooden architectural model of the Abbey, Sir Christopher Wren, ca. 1720
* Charter of 1560
* Chaucer’s lease, 1399

Wits Art Museum, Johannesburg

* A group of iziphephetu (beaded aprons) created from the 1950s to the 1980s, worn by girls of the Ndebele people


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