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Posted at 11:06 AM ET, 01/ 5/2011

Preserving the (Nearly) Unpreservable

By Jessica Dawson

Though the Corcoran Gallery of Art's woes are on everybody's minds thanks to Jacqueline Trescott's excellent piece today, one upcoming public program promises a smart, scholarly look at a particularly Washington problem: How to conserve those Color School paintings -- the Tom Downing Targets, the Howard Mehring cut canvases -- that so archly resist preservation?

Painted with out-of-production Magna paints on unprimed surfaces, these pictures are a conservator's nightmare. On January 20, Jay Krueger, senior conservator of modern paintings at the National Gallery of Art, will address the challenges that these innovative modernist paintings have wrought.

If the Corcoran wants to remain vital, it'll need a regular roster of scholarly discussions like this one.

"Preserving the Washington Color School Paintings"
is Jan. 20 at 6:30.

By Jessica Dawson  | January 5, 2011; 11:06 AM ET
Categories:  Contemporary Art, Jessica Dawson, Museums  
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The “Preserving the Washington Color School Paintings” gallery talk program on January 20 is one of many scholarly, cultural, and unique opportunities offered by the Corcoran to the public. To name just a few additional opportunities for your readers to consider:

On February 24, we welcome Paul Richard, art critic at The Washington Post for more than 40 years, for a fascinating—and scholarly—lecture detailing his experience covering the beginnings of the Color Field movement in this city.

Roger Gastman, who founded two of America’s most respected underground magazines, co-curated MOCA’s upcoming street-art retrospective exhibition, Art in the Streets, and who facilitated the donation of a piece by iconic DC graffiti artist Danny Hogg (“Cool Disco Dan”) now on view in the Corcoran’s permanent collection galleries, will also lecture in February.

Two of Ireland’s most eminent actors, Dearbhla Molloy and Dermot Crowley, will appear at the Corcoran to perform “Give Me Your Hand”, an imaginative combination of art and the spoken word, based on celebrated Irish poet Paul Durcan’s poetic interpretation of some of the most famous paintings in the world.

The Corcoran’s department of public programs seeks to celebrate all areas of art and culture, and to encourage dialogue and discourse. I hope your readers will continue to look to the Corcoran for relevant, interesting, and enlightening lectures, gallery talks, and performances.

Posted by: mclair | January 5, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

A 'regular roster' of 'scholarly discussions'? Sounds like that's exactly what the Corcoran is doing.

Posted by: SteelyTom | January 6, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

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