Fairmount Park Art Association Receives Getty Grant

Press Release

Fairmount Park Art Association Receives Getty Grant

Philadelphia, PA—The Fairmount Park Art Association announces the receipt of a Getty Foundation grant of $78,200 for treatment and research related to the conservation and reinstallation of Atmosphere and Environment XII by eminent artist Louise Nevelson. The conservation will be supported by funds from The Getty Foundation, the philanthropic division of the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles; Save America’s Treasures, a grant program administered by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); and The Locks Foundation. The conservation treatment will be undertaken by the Conservation Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in cooperation with the Art Association. Reinstallation is currently scheduled for late 2006.

Art Association Executive Director Penny Balkin Bach declared, “This generous Getty Foundation grant completes our fundraising goal, and the Art Association looks forward to working with the Philadelphia Museum of Art to return this magnificent sculpture to the Philadelphia skyline.”

Antoine Wilmering, Program Officer for the Getty Foundation, said, “Atmosphere and Environment XII is a very significant sculpture. The Getty is delighted to support the Art Association in its efforts to preserve this monumental work.”

Created in 1970 by an important 20th-century American artist, Atmosphere and Environment XII represents a pioneering use of Cor-Ten (weathering steel), an industrial material that has had a great impact on the field of public art. The 18′, 18,000-pound sculpture was purchased by the Art Association and installed outside the west entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1973. Due to severe “corrosion jacking,” the sculpture became severely disfigured and was dismantled in 2002 by the Conservation Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The conservation treatment of this sculpture will utilize an innovative approach to the particular challenges and aesthetics of Cor-Ten steel, providing valuable information to the fields of conservation, architecture, and public art.

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The Atmosphere and Environment XII project is part of the Art Association’s ongoing commitment to outdoor sculpture conservation, which began in 1982 with support from the Mabel Pew Myrin Trust. Initially twenty-five sculptures of historic and artistic significance were identified (including Cowboy [1908] by Frederic Remington, and Three Way Piece Number 1: Points [1964] by Henry Moore) to receive initial conservation treatment by a professional conservator. Today thirty sculptures are part of an ongoing maintenance plan that was established to arrest further deterioration and improve their aesthetic appearance. The Art Association’s Conservation Program has received the National Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Preservation and Care of Collections from Heritage Preservation and the American Institute for Conservation and the Henry J. Magaziner, EFAIA Award of the Philadelphia AIA Historic Preservation Committee.

Chartered in 1872, the Fairmount Park Art Association is the nation’s first private, non-profit organization dedicated to integrating public art and urban planning. The Art Association works to promote the appreciation of public art through programs and advocacy efforts that commission, interpret, and preserve public art in Philadelphia. More information is available www.fpaa.org.

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and The Getty Foundation. The Getty Trust and the Getty programs are located at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Additional information is available on the Getty web site at www.getty.edu.