The North Carolina Museum of Art


Grants Support Care of Collection

The responsibilities of the Conservation Center extend beyond the studio to the general care and preservation of the collection. The timing for recent projects has been critical as the Museum moved forward with expansion and renovation. It was essential these objects be treated to ensure their long-term preservation and to return them to the public in an aesthetically and structurally improved condition.

The IMLS Conservation Project Support Grant 2003

In 2003 the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded the NCMA a $17,000 Conservation Project Support (CPS) grant to provide for a comprehensive assessment of the Museum’s collection, facilities, and environmental conditions, and a review of the collection-care practices and policies. The survey’s recommendations formed the foundation for the Museum’s Long-Range Conservation Plan.

The three highest—and most fiscally challenging—priorities identified were:

  • A renovation of the Museum’s environmental-control system (HVAC)
  • An expansion of art-storage facilities
  • An assessment of the condition of the collection with follow-up treatment

The HVAC renovation was completed in late 2006 through a $5 million State of North Carolina Guaranteed Energy Savings Program. Deficiencies in the existing system were corrected, providing the constant relative-humidity control essential to the preservation of the collection.

Henry Luce Foundation Conservation Initiative Grant

The Henry Luce Foundation, through the American Art Program 2007 Conservation Initiative, awarded the NCMA $30,000 to conserve prominent works, including Morris Louis’s Pi (1960), Frank Stella’s Raqqa II (1970), and Alexander Calder’s Tricolor on Pyramid (1965). An expert in the area of color-field-painting restoration conserved Raqqa II in situ in the Modern and Contemporary Galleries in spring 2009, and the Calder was restored in Richmond, Va.

Additional Projects

IMLS, through the CPS program, provided $17,047 to conduct a detailed condition survey of ancient art and ethnographic materials, decorative arts, contemporary sculpture, and African textiles. Outside expert Dana Moffett identified 83 artifacts in urgent need of conservation and 118 artifacts that are damaged but not actively deteriorating. A $38,000 follow-up treatment grant was awarded to the NCMA through the IMLS CPS Program to address the needs of the African collection. An additional $68,000 in state funds was provided for the treatment of high-priority objects in the Egyptian, ancient classical, New World, and modern sculpture collections.