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Tuesday, May 30 • 11:15am - 11:40am
(Opening General Session) What Would Anselm Do? Revisiting the treatment of Osiris and Isis

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The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art acquired Osiris and Isis, an important mid-career painting by Anselm Kiefer, in 1987.  SFMOMA recently re-opened after a major expansion to accommodate the Fisher Family Collection of 20th century art, which includes masterworks by Anselm Kiefer.
Anselm Kiefer's oeuvre examines history and culture by means of incorporating potentially unstable and problematic materials (including straw, lead, found objects and industrial media).  Kiefer's works are often oversized, extremely heavy, fragile and vulnerable; they challenge the norms of stewardship.  Osiris and Isis exemplifies Kiefer's use of mixed techniques and found objects, which are included in a composition of massive size.  The painting has required treatment intervention at regular intervals since its acquisition.
This presentation will trace the trajectory of care Osiris and Isis has received over several decades.  Treatments of the painting which did not age well over time will be discussed.  A cross-disciplinary treatment which would have deviated from standard practice was recently considered.  The proposed treatment for the painting was revised after the artist was brought into the discussion.  A relationship of trust between SFMOMA, Kiefer and his studio was created once Kiefer became involved with the project.
SFMOMA's engagement with artists can provide guidance for the care of artworks and serves as a starting point for successful museum activities involving the Museum's Artist Initiative, Curatorial, Collections and Education programs.
We now have a much better understanding of "what Anselm Kiefer would do" when concerns and questions arise regarding the conservation and exhibition of his works.  As we continue our dialog with the Kiefer studio, we plan to carry out more in-depth study, research and treatment of the SFMOMA/Fisher Kiefer Collection.

avatar for Paula De Cristofaro, [PA]

Paula De Cristofaro, [PA]

Paintings Conservator, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Paula De Cristofaro has worked in the SFMOMA Conservation Department since 1990. Prior to joining the staff at SFMOMA, she worked at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and at the Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland Ohio. She completed the Conservation Training Program... Read More →

Tuesday May 30, 2017 11:15am - 11:40am CDT
Regency Ballroom Ballroom Level, West Tower