Largest Known Example of Silverwork from Wiener Werkstätte to Be Restored By the Dallas Museum of Art
September 4, 2014— The Dallas Museum of Art today announced that they have received funding from Bank of America to restore the Wittgenstein silver display case, or vitrine, through the bank’s 2014 global Art Conservation Project. Since the program’s inception in 2010, Bank of America has provided grants to museums in 27 countries supporting 72 conservation projects.
The silver and gem-studded vitrine is the most lavish piece of silverwork known from the Wiener Werkstätte (or Vienna Workshops), a guild of artists and craftsmen practicing in Austria in the early 20th century. Designed by Carl Otto Czeschka and presented at the 1908 Vienna Art Show, this vitrine marks a crucial time in the evolution of modern design. Acquired by the Dallas Museum of Art last year, it is one of their most important pieces. Fran Baas, associate conservator of objects, working in close collaboration with Kevin W. Tucker, the Margot B. Perot senior curator of decorative arts and design at the Dallas Museum of Art and Mark Leonard, chief conservator, is currently carrying out the restoration and technical study of this unique masterpiece of decorative design and craftsmanship. The grant from Bank of America is fully funding the restoration of the piece, which is the centerpiece of the upcoming Modern Opulence in Vienna: The Wittgenstein Vitrine exhibition. The exhibition is scheduled to open on November 15 in the DMA’s Conservation Gallery, after a special media preview on November 13.
“We are deeply grateful to Bank of America for the inclusion of the Dallas Museum of Art in its annual Art Conservation Project Grant for the restoration of this sumptuous silver vitrine,” stated Maxwell L. Anderson, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director. “With this grant, we are able to ensure the care and restoration of this masterwork, preserving its beauty and highlighting its international importance for the community.”
“Our Art Conservation Project is designed not only to conserve artworks and shine a light on the need for the preservation of artistic and historic treasures, but also to educate communities and convey respect for the varied cultures and traditions throughout the world,” said Richard Holt, Dallas market president for Bank of America. “We’re fortunate to have access to artistic masterpieces in Dallas and are glad to partner with the Dallas Museum of Art to restore this important piece.”
In 2013, the company’s Art Conservation Project supported the restoration of a diverse range of works including Tudor portraits of Queen Elizabeth at the National Portrait Gallery in London; Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s “Diana” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; four portraits by John Butler Yeats at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin; three iconic Jackson Pollock paintings at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; and Rembrandt’s “Scholar in His study” at the National Gallery in Prague.
About the Dallas Museum of Art
Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is among the 10 largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation, and public engagement. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 22,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the nation’s largest arts district, the Museum welcomes some 600,000 visitors annually and acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations. In January 2013, the DMA returned to a free general admission policy and launched DMA Friends, the first free museum membership program in the country, which currently has over 70,000 members. For more information, visit DMA.org.
The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Partners and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.
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