Recently Acquired Gardner Hale's "Triumph of Washington" to Undergo Conservation for the First Time Since its 1931 Completion
Restored mural will be on display during upcoming exhibition "Renewing the American Spirit: The Art of the Great Depression," opening Nov. 2, 2019
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art has been selected as a 2019 Bank of America Art Conservation Project grant recipient to conserve its recent acquisition "Triumph of Washington" by Gardner Hale. The grant funding will help preserve the monumental mural executed in 1931 for future generations.
This large-scale painting—measuring 165” x 293”—has not been exhibited publicly since George Washington’s Bicentennial exhibition in 1932. Upon unrolling, abrasions and losses to the paint surface, stains, tears to the canvas, and water damage were discovered that require treatment before it can be publicly displayed in the upcoming exhibition "Renewing the American Spirit: The Art of the Great Depression," opening Nov. 2, 2019.
"The Museum's holdings in the area of American art of the Great Depression remains one of the strengths of its collection, beginning with 28 works created as part of the W.P.A.'s relief efforts during the second half of the 1930s," said Dr. Michael Anderson, Interim President and C.E.O. "Completed during the early stages of the Great Depression, Hale's "Triumph of Washington" features General Washington on horseback, leading his troops before a modern cityscape. Thanks to Bank of America, the conservation of this work will further a preexisting area of strength in the Museum’s collection—providing new avenues for interpretation of both Washington's legacy and the role of the arts in the Great Depression."
This project comes ahead of OKCMOA’s fall 2019 exhibition, "Renewing the American Spirit: The Art of the Great Depression." Conservation of the artwork is imperative as it will stand as one of the headlining works of art in the exhibition. This grant award adds to the long list of significant ways Bank of America has been a loyal supporter of the Museum, with a partnership spanning two decades. Bank of America has sponsored educational programs such as Drop-In Art and Gallery + Studio, and continues to serve as a "Museums on Us” partner, providing free admission to Bank of America cardholders the first full weekend of each month.
"The Museum has long stood as a vibrant cultural beacon connecting our community to art and art history," said Tony Shinn, Oklahoma City market president, Bank of America. "It speaks volumes to the prestige of the Museum and its collection that is was selected for the bank’s global Art Conservation Project, and our local team is exceedingly proud to add to their legacy of excellence in preservation and creating access to the arts."
The conservation of "Triumph of Washington" by Gardner Hale is one of 22 Art Conservation Projects revealed during this year’s recipient announcement event hosted by Bank of America on Oct. 16 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Recipients in 10 countries and 11 U.S. cities are receiving grant funding through the 2019 Bank of America Art Conservation Project.
"Triumph of Washington" by Gardner Hale is in select company as a 2019 recipient. The selection of works being recognized as 2019 ACP recipients includes "The Starry Night" by Vincent van Gogh and "The Bather" by Paul Cezanne – The Museum of Modern Art, New York; "Spring" by Georgia O’Keeffe – Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe; ten large-scale assemblage paintings by Thornton Dial, Sr. – High Museum of Art, Atlanta; "Portrait of Madame Josette Gris" by Juan Gris – Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; a diverse selection of works at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico; and "Scènes des massacres de Scio (The Massacre at Chios)" by Eugene Delacroix – Musée Du Louvre, Paris.
The Bank of America Art Conservation Project provides grant funding to nonprofit cultural institutions throughout the world to conserve historically or culturally significant works of art that are in danger of deterioration. Since the Art Conservation Project began in 2010, Bank of America has provided grants for more than 170 projects in 33 countries on six continents to conserve paintings, sculptures, and archaeological and architectural pieces that are critically important to cultural heritage and the history of art.
The Art Conservation Project is a key element of Bank of America’s program of arts support worldwide, and part of the company’s environmental, social and governance program. Bank of America believes in the power of the arts to help economies thrive, educate and enrich societies, and create greater cultural understanding. The program includes loans of its private art collection to museums at no cost, sponsorships, and grants to arts organizations for arts education, as well as the preservation of cultural treasures. For more information, please visit the Art Conservation Project website.