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Subject: Thaw Conservation Center

Thaw Conservation Center

From: Pam Angelopoulos <pangel>
Date: Wednesday, July 21, 1999
The Morgan Library, which is now celebrating its seventy-fifth year
as a public institution, announced today a $10-million gift from the
Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust to support conservation
activities at the institution. This will include a new facility,
expanded staff and activities, and a program of study and training.
Along with the Center, the Library will develop a separate
exhibition planning department to handle responsibilities currently
carried out by its Conservation Department. According to Charles E.
Pierce, Jr., Director of the Morgan Library,

   "With such munificent support, the creation of a new conservation
    center will greatly enhance our ability to preserve, care for,
    and present the collections that are held in the Library's
    trust. I am particularly pleased to announce that the new Center
    will be named The Thaw Conservation Center in recognition of
    Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw's extraordinary and wide-ranging
    contributions to the Library.

   "This gift, so magnanimous itself, follows Mr. and Mrs. Thaw's
    many other acts of generosity to the Library, including the
    promised gift of his entire collection of drawings and his
    important role as a Trustee." Dr. Pierce continued, "They have
    assembled over forty years a collection of drawings that is the
    best in private hands. Gifts and promised gifts from these
    holdings greatly enrich the Library's collections of drawings
    and watercolors. It is particularly gratifying to know that we
    will be better able to care for these works, as well as our
    other holdings, because of additional support provided by these
    same great benefactors. Soon, we will systematically undertake
    conservation of the nearly 300,000 objects in the Library's
    collection, implementing a plan that was developed over the last

   "My wife and I felt that the Morgan with its great collections
    should have an equally great department for the preservation and
    restoration of such collections," stated Mr. Thaw, "and we are
    happy to move the process along."

The Thaw Conservation Center will be a world-class laboratory for
the conservation of works on paper-drawings, books, and literary,
historical, and music manuscripts--as well as a place for
conservation studies and training. Margaret Holben Ellis, the
Sherman Fairchild Chairman of the Conservation Center, Institute of
Fine Arts, New York University, has been appointed Director of
Conservation Planning. Ms. Ellis will continue as Chairman and
Professor at the Institute while overseeing the creation of the
Center. She also will be responsible for the design and
implementation of a graduate-level educational program, an
international exchange, and a collaborative analytical research
network as well as for assessing future staffing needs and

   "I envision The Thaw Conservation Center as a place of dynamic
    interchange among conservation and curatorial professionals,
    supported by a state-of-the-art facility and encouraged by a
    variety of academic opportunities," commented Ms. Ellis. "I hope
    I can share with the Library's highly respected and
    knowledgeable staff my abilities as a practicing conservator as
    well as my experience as an administrator and educator. The
    invitation to plan such a center, in all its aspects, was an
    overwhelming honor and irresistible challenge."

Patricia Reyes, Mellon Conservator at the Morgan Library, said, "It
is an unprecedented and welcome opportunity to work with others, as
we plan how to equip, all at once, an entirely new facility. With
the Center's expanded services, we will carry out on a much larger
range of conservation activities than ever before. And, as it will
serve as a training center, I am looking forward to an ongoing
collaboration with the next generation of conservators."

The multifunctional Center will occupy the entire 5,600-square-foot
fourth floor of the Morgan House, doubling the size of the current
conservation facilities at the Library. It will include designated
areas for wet and dry treatments of the collections (both paper and
book conservation), advanced seminars, graduate internships, and
post-graduate fellowships, and for matting, framing, and exhibition
preparation. The Center will provide the safest, most effective
environment for the care of these objects and for the conservators
who handle them. The most advanced lighting, ventilation,
communications, climate control, and other technical equipment will
be installed to ensure the safety of staff and art alike.

The Thaw Conservation Center is being designed by the New York-based
firm Samuel Anderson Architect. "The Thaw Center's program," noted
Mr. Anderson, "includes requirements for generous natural northern
light, specific yet flexible treatment and teaching areas, precise
climate control, and an open collegial character. Our design is
evolving in close collaboration with the Library's administrators
and conservators to ensure not only that it carefully fulfills all
requirements but also physically reflects the Center's fundamental

Samuel Anderson Architect recently completed the award-winning
Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies and the Agnes
Mongan Center at the Harvard University Art Museums. Mr. Anderson,
who earned a Bachelor of Architecture from The Cooper Union, in New
York, as well as an A.B. degree with honors from Harvard College,
served as project architect on the Busch-Reisinger Museum/Werner
Otto Hall, Harvard University Art Museums, while with Gwathmey
Siegel & Associates Architects. His firm, begun in 1991, has
completed numerous residential, commercial, and institutional

Construction of The Thaw Conservation Center is scheduled to begin
in fall 1999.

For further information, please contact Glory Jones, Director of
Communications and Marketing, at 212-685-0008, ext. 319
<media [at] morganlibrary__org>

Pam Angelopoulos
Communications and Marketing Assistant
The Pierpont Morgan Library
29 East 36th Street
New York, NY  10016-3403
212-685-0008 ext. 430
Fax: 212-481-3484

                  Conservation DistList Instance 13:9
                  Distributed: Thursday, July 22, 1999
                        Message Id: cdl-13-9-025
Received on Wednesday, 21 July, 1999

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