Hubert and Jan Van Eyck, The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (The Ghent Altarpiece).
Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, The Hague

Considered the most important work of early Netherlandish painting in existence, the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, or Ghent Altarpiece, painted in 1432 by Hubert and Jan van Eyck for Saint Bavo Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium was in serious need of care. Through a Foundation–funded grant to the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), a group of experts led by Anne van Grevenstein–Kruse and Ron Spronk (Queens University, Ontario, Canada and Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands) completed a thorough condition assessment of the altarpiece, providing training opportunities for three post–graduate and several mid–career conservators. A second grant to NWO funded an international experts meeting related to the condition assessment, and a third grant is supporting a website that provides digital access to images of the altarpiece in unprecedented detail. Learn more.

Grants awarded: €172,000; €59,400 (2010); €66,000 (2011)

Dürer, <i>Adam and Eve</i>, 1507 © Museo del Prado (Espaňa)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

An early grant in the Getty’s Panel Painting Initiative was directed toward the treatment of Albrecht Dürer’s magnificent paired panels Adam and Eve of 1507. The project was a collaboration between conservator José de la Fuente of the Museo del Prado in Madrid and senior Metropolitan Museum of Art conservator George Bisacca. Three younger conservation specialists were able to assist with, and closely observe, the treatment and learn more about the complex decision–making process. Learn more.

In 2011 the Metropolitan Museum of Art received a second grant to host three postgraduate conservators for nine-month training residencies in the structural conservation of paintings on panel. Between 2012 and 2014, one training fellow at a time will have the opportunity to work closely with conservators George Bisacca and Alan Miller on paintings from the Museum’s vast holdings. By participating in daily activities of one of the most preeminent conservation studios in the United States, training residents will build invaluable experience in the field of structural conservation of paintings on panel on a wide variety of conservation projects.

Grants awarded: $134,000 (2008); $224,600 (2011)

Rubens, Triumph of the Church, Prado.
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

In 1626, Peter Paul Rubens completed one of the most important commissions of his lifetime—a suite of finished oil sketches on wood known as the Triumph of the Eucharist series. Six paintings from this important series have been preserved at the Prado Museum, but past structural interventions have caused cracks, deformations, and uneven surfaces in the wood, threatening the painted surfaces. Conservation of these panels will provide a major training opportunity for seven conservators at various stages of their careers. They will work alongside Prado conservator, José de la Fuente who, in collaboration with Metropolitan Museum of Art conservator George Bisacca, will lead structural conservation of these significant paintings.

Grant awarded: €270,000 (2011)

Vasari after the flood ©Marco Grassi
Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Florence, Italy

Conservation treatment on Giorgio Vasari’s The Last Supper, painted in 1543, is enabling seven conservators at the advanced, mid–level and post–graduate levels to train side–by–side with two senior leaders in the conservation field, Ciro Castelli and Mauro Parri. Composed of five large panels, The Last Supper was one of the most damaged artworks to survive the Florence flood more than 40 years ago. The complexity of the treatment will afford the trainees an unparalleled learning experience.

Grant awarded: €300,000 (2010)

Dirck van Delen, <i>La Toilette</i>, © Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels

Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Brussels

The Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Brussels is hosting four conservation trainees at various stages in their careers to assist with treatment activities related to nine works in its collection, including paintings by Cranach the Elder, Jacob Cuyp, Dirck van Delen, and Pieter Aertsen. Working under the guidance of Jean-Albert Glatigny, an experienced conservator in the structural conservation of early Netherlandish and Flemish panel paintings, trainees will gain exposure to a wide variety of structural conservation techniques. They will also have the opportunity to connect with other leading experts in the field, who will convene at the museum to discuss treatment protocols.

Grant awarded: €280,000 (2011)

University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge's Hamilton Kerr Institute (HKI) and London Ebury Street Studio is supporting three postgraduates to train in the structural conservation of wooden supports related to three paintings from the workshop of Giulio Romano and works after Titian, and by Paulus van Somer from the Royal Collection. The Ebury Street Studio of the Hamilton Kerr Institute was set up by Herbert Lank in 1980 to further training of conservators, including candidates from the Hamilton Kerr course. Postgraduate conservators will have the opportunity to work on paintings on wood support under supervision by Ray Marchant and Simon Bobak. They will acquire skills in the application of non-invasive stabilization techniques that have been developed by leading conservators from HKI and Ebury Street over the past three decades.

Grant awarded: £138,000 (2011)

State Art Museum Denmark, Copenhagen

The State Art Museum Denmark was awarded a grant to support an intensive two–week institute, hosted by the Academy of Fine Arts Krakow, to bring together approximately 20 conservators and curators from Eastern and Western Europe to deepen the understanding of international best practices in the conservation of paintings on panel. The Institute will focused on collaborative work and decision–making as a model for the effective care of panel paintings held in public collections. Session presenters included curatorial and conservation experts from Europe and the United States who are at the forefront of the field.

An earlier grant supported a survey of the field and needs assessment to update information on the most significant collections of panel paintings, the current level of their care, the individuals who would benefit most from further training, and the number of conservators who would likely find employment in the field. This project also supported travel bursaries for conservators and curators to attend the 2009 Panel Paintings Symposium at the Getty. For detailed information on symposium sessions, abstracts, and proceedings, please visit the Web site of the Getty Conservation Institute.

Grants awarded: DKK1,331,000 (2008) and €148,500 (2010)