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Subject: Positions at Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo backdrops project

Positions at Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo backdrops project

From: Ruth Norton <rnorton>
Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2001
Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo backdrops project

Stored in a warehouse in Indianapolis, is a collection of Ballet
Russe de Monte Carlo backdrops in desperate need of help. Twenty-six
ballet productions are represented in the collection, including
Scheherazade, Petrushka, Prince Igor, Ghost Town, and Le Beau
Danube, and works by Natalia Goncharova, Alexandre Benois, Leon
Bakst, and Salvador Dali. They are part the collection of Ballet
Russe de Monte Carlo scenery, design and score archives acquired in
1964 by George Verdak after the collapse of the Ballet Russe. Butler
University, the owner of the drops, is interested in improving the
storage and accessibility of the collection. The Chicago Department
of Cultural Affairs has expressed interest in a proposed exhibition
of up to six backdrops, possibly to be opened in 2004. While only
six drops need to be in presentable condition by 2004, this
exhibition would create the kind of publicity that could lead to
enough financial support to restore the entire collection.

The drops for the 26 ballets total about 200 canvases. Some are
backdrops up to 25 feet in height and 40 feet in width; the rest are
legs and borders of varying widths and heights. They are currently
folded and stacked on shelves. All suffer paint damage along folds;
some suffer more extensive paint damage. The canvases are generally
sound, though some have suffered water damage from a flood. Storage
conditions have at times been very poor. The canvases have all been
recently momentarily hung for photography and cataloguing.

Expressions of interest are sought for any or all of three
components of the conservation project. Firstly, to aid in the
preparation of conservation grant applications by preparing the
general collection assessment and conservation plan statements, and
preparing the budget for storage of the collection. Secondly,
undertake the storage project to provide appropriate rolled storage
for the whole collection and advise on establishing an appropriate
environment. Thirdly and concurrently, prepare treatment proposals
and budgets for the grant applications and undertake the
conservation treatment of the 3 to 6 canvases selected for display.
Facilities large enough to prepare the canvases for storage would be
available at Butler University. Use of other facilities would be

For further information and expressions of interest, please contact:

    Stefan Grace
    Exhibition Organizer
    itchyfeet313 [at] hotmail__com

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:39
                Distributed: Tuesday, November 27, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-15-39-023
Received on Tuesday, 27 November, 2001

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