Conservation Grant from The Mellon Foundation
Conservation scientists contribute to fulfilling the museum’s mission to preserve, present, and interpret its diverse collections by studying the materials and techniques used to create artifacts, the changes materials undergo as they age, and the impact of the museum environment on artwork.
In 2006, the MFAH was awarded a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support collaboration among the conservation departments at the MFAH and Menil Collection and create a comprehensive program of scientific research that is unique in the southern and southwestern United States. The grant allowed the appointment of Aniko Bezur as the Andrew W. Mellon Research Scientist for the MFAH and Menil Collection through 2012. The Department of Chemistry at Rice University is a key partner in this initiative, ensuring access to scientific expertise in diverse areas of research, facilitating access to analytical instruments through the Shared Equipment Authority, and providing a gateway to the many benefits of a vibrant academic and research community. Conservation science research projects offer unique learning opportunities to Rice students interested in the intersection of art and science. Stay tuned for updates about the Mellon Grant for Conservation Science at the MFAH.
IMLS Silver Storage Grant
An important part of conservation is stabilization and protection of objects. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston has a large and diverse silver collection, which needs to be protected from certain environmental contaminants, such as sulfur, that cause the metal to tarnish. For this reason, Steve Pine, MFAH Decorative Arts Conservator, developed a silver coating program. This program uses an acrylic coating to protect the surface of the silver, allowing it to be on view to the public with less stress to the object.
To support the museum in its long-term preservation of its silver collection, the MFAH was awarded a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This grant enables the MFAH to store the silver in a centralized space within specially purchased storage cabinets. These sealed cabinets provide a sulfur-free environment for the silver, protecting the objects from environmental stress and contaminants while still allowing for a more public viewing of the entire silver collection.
Questions about Conservation Science?