Ulrich Museum receives federal grant for Miró conservation project
Sept. 13, 2013––The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) recently announced nearly $30,000,000 in grants to museums across the nation. The Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University is receiving one of the 244 awards through the agency’s grant programs, and is the only recipient of such an award in the state of Kansas. The Ulrich is receiving $150,000 through the Museums for America grant to help complete the five-year conservation of the iconic Joan Miró glass mosaic, Personnages Oiseaux (Bird People).
IMLS Director Susan Hildreth will present a workshop and ceremony on Capitol Hill, on September 18, to recognize the 2013 museum winners and to highlight successful applicants and awards. The event will showcase the many ways museums support learning experiences, serve as community anchors, and are stewards of cultural and scientific heritage through the preservation of their collections.
“IMLS recognizes three valuable roles museums have in their communities: putting the learner at the center, serving as community anchors, and serving as stewards of cultural and scientific collections,” said IMLS Director Susan Hildreth. “It is exciting to see the many ways our newly announced grants further these important museum roles. I congratulate the slate of 2013 museum grant recipients for planning projects that advance innovation in museum practice, lifelong learning, and community engagement.”
The funds from the grant will support the third year of the five-year undertaking to conserve Personnages Oiseaux (Bird People), the 26 x 52 foot Venetian glass-and-marble mosaic by Spanish modern artist Joan Miró. The mosaic was created specifically for the Ulrich Museum and installed on its façade in 1978. 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, Wichita State University, the City of Wichita and the State of Kansas. The 80-panel mosaic was deinstalled in fall 2011 after 33 years of exposure to extreme outdoor elements in Kansas had taken its toll on the work. Conservation of the mosaic is taking place off-site at the facility of Russell-Marti Conservation Services, Inc. in Missouri. Resintallation will take place in fall 2016.
“We are extremely honored to be the only institution in Kansas to have received this IMLS Museums for America grant,” said Ulrich Museum of Art director Bob Workman. “Given that only four large-scale murals by Miró exist in the United States, and this is the only predominantly glass mosaic Miró ever created, we have a paramount responsibility to conserve Personnages Oiseaux. This award coupled with the very generous contributions of many others insures this work will remain a part of our institution’s and state’s artistic legacy for generations to come.”
Ulrich Museum awarded $250,000 for Miro mosaic conservation
May 1, 2012--Wichita State's Ulrich Museum was awarded two major federal grants totaling $250,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for the conservation of the landmark mural and masterpiece by modern artist Joan Miro.
The announcement of the Ulrich Museum as a grant recipient from both organizations in 2012 is significant because the Ulrich is the only Kansas museum to receive both the NEA and IMLS grants in 2012 and is the only Kansas museum to receive the maximum grant amounts from the NEA ($100,000) and IMLS ($150,000).
The funds from the grants, written and submitted by Ulrich Museum Director Patricia McDonnell, will support the second year of the five-year undertaking to conserve Personnages Oiseaux (Bird People), the 26 x 52 foot glass-and-marble mosaic. The mosaic was created specifically for the Ulrich Museum and installed on its facade in 1978.
The mosaic was deinstalled in fall 2011 in preparation for treatment; 33 years of exposure to extreme weather in Kansas has taken its toll on the 80-panel mosaic.
The deinstallation of the Miro mosaic took two weeks. Watch the entire deinstallation in about two minutes.