The art of preserving art
Works of art are not immune to the effects of time: colors change, materials decay. A stable climate and special lighting during display and storage greatly contribute to the preservation of artwork, but a conservator’s knowledge and skills are needed as well. Since 2001, a dedicated team has been working on the long-term preservation of the collection’s major works so that they will remain accessible to future generations.
„Piet Mondrian Conservation Project“
Ahead of 2022’s Piet Mondrian exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler, exciting discoveries are to be made. Find out hidden details from our conservation studio.
The Fondation Beyeler team uses Philippe Parreno’s sound installation Water Lilies to illustrate the complex challenges facing conservators in caring for contemporary art.
„Joseph Beuys“ - Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol is a central figure in American Pop Art and one of the twentieth century’s most influential artists. The painting Joseph Beuys (1980) is one of the few works that the artist decorated with a fine layer of diamond dust.
„Nymphéas“ - Claude Monet
Claude Monet was among the most important artists of the 19th century and the leading representative of Impressionism. Nymphéas, one of his water lily paintings, is to be scientifically examined and restored with the support of the Fondation BNP Paribas Suisse.
„Demoiselles d'Avignon“ - Pablo Picasso
During the conservation project, important questions concerning the painting’s history, work process, and pictorial technique were raised, especially in connection with the famous painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Pablo Picasso.
„Le lion, ayant faim, se jette sur l’antilope“ - Henri Rousseau
Henri Rousseau was one of the most unconventional artists of the late 19th century. The project aimed to reach conclusions about earlier overpainting, readily visible to viewers. It was uncertain whether these were from the artist or a later addition.
„Le passage à niveau“ - Fernand Léger
„Le passage à niveau“ was thoroughly examined and restored as part of a restoration project funded by the Fondation BNP Paribas Suisse. Valuable knowledge about the materials, technique, and history was gained over the course of this project.
„The King Playing with the Queen“ - Max Ernst
The examinations conducted by the team of conservators provided important information about the sculpture’s construction and the interventions it was subject to over the years.
„Acanthes“ - Henri Matisse
After three years of extensive art-historical research, conservation, and restoration, the Fondation Beyeler completed the greatest conservation project in its history: the scientific examination of Henri Matisse’s Acanthes.
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