MIRÓ MURAL CONSERVATION

Conservation of Personnages Oiseaux (Bird People) by Joan Miró is the number one priority for the Ulrich Museum collection. Produced late in the artist’s life, the mosaic is a world masterpiece, the institution’s preeminent work of art, and an icon for the museum, the university, the City of Wichita and the State of Kansas.

Conservation of the Miró mosaic will take place off-site at the facility of Russell-Marti Conservation Services, Inc. in Missouri. This conservation team has provided care for the mosaic for the past fifteen years. The project, to begin on September 27, 2011, was preceded by a two-and-a-half-year exhaustive research study of the mural and a pilot treatment of three panels. In 2010, two nationally prominent conservators, Thomas Learner from Getty Conservation Institute and Martin Radecki, retired chief of Indianapolis Museum of Art Conservation Center, vetted and approved the proposed Russell-Marti treatment method.

The mural’s 80 panels, 3 x 5 feet each, will be individually faced with foam padding, removed, and packed in specially produced wooden crates for storage and subsequent travel with Ulrich art handlers to the conservation facility. Groups of panels have been designated for treatment in one of five phases, and they will be returned to onsite storage at the culmination of the treatment phase. The final activity of the project—the re-installation of the mosaic on the Ulrich Museum façade—will take place in fall 2016.
 

conservators at work on the MIro Mural

Tiles from the Miro MUral prior to the beginning of conservation

Conservators look at panels on the Miro Mural

close up of Miro mural

damaged panels from the MIro mural are removed

 

 

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