Abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock’s seminal work Mural (1943) will be conserved as part of a new collaboration between the Getty and the University of Iowa Museum of Art.
The painting will travel to the Getty Center in Los Angeles this summer, where it will undergo technical study and conservation treatment by research scientists at the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) and conservators at the J. Paul Getty Museum.
“This is a win-win situation for everyone,” said University of Iowa President Sally Mason. “With this conservation treatment by the Getty, Pollock’s Mural will continue to be viewed for many years to come.”
James Cuno, President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, added “This painting is of phenomenal importance in the history of 20th century art, and this project meshes perfectly with the skills of the Getty Museum’s paintings conservators and the ongoing research of the scientists involved in the Getty Conservation Institute’s Modern Paints Project.”
The GCI is currently leading a comprehensive research effort into modern paints and the challenges they present in terms of conservation.
Mural is considered by many to be the most significant and influential painting in American art since World War II. The painting has been in the University of Iowa’s art collection since it was donated by Peggy Guggenheim in 1951.
The Getty Museum regularly undertakes the conservation of key works of art from institutions around the world as part of the Getty’s overall philanthropic mission. The Museum has developed an active collaboration program where it works in conjunction with guest conservators and the curators from institutions whose works are being conserved. These projects are undertaken at little or no cost to the institution in exchange for the opportunity to show the work in the Museum’s galleries following conservation.
Prior to the conservation, GCI scientists and the Getty Museum’s paintings conservators will collaborate on an investigation into the materials and techniques of the painting and together, will develop a treatment approach. Once the painting is conserved, Mural will be exhibited at the Getty Center for three months.
Pollock (1912–56) is among the most influential painters in American history. Mural is widely recognized as a crucial watershed for the artist, and is credited with inspiring the emergent Abstract Expressionists of the mid-20th century. Mural was Pollock’s first commission by legendary art collector Peggy Guggenheim.
“The Museum hopes to continue to be able to share Mural with a wide audience, and help more individuals understand its important place in art history,” said University of Iowa Museum of Art Director Sean O’Harrow.