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Art Conservation Project to Help Preserve the Watts Towers

Global Bank of America Program Connects People and Communities to Culture and History Through the Conservation of 24 Projects in 16 Countries

Monday, June 10, 2013 5:00 pm EDT

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LOS ANGELES

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"The Watts Towers are an integral part of the culture and history of Los Angeles, so it made sense for us to support its preservation given the bank’s extensive local history"

Bank of America announced that it has provided funding to assist with the restoration of Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers in Los Angeles through its 2013 Art Conservation Project, a global effort that will conserve 24 projects in 16 countries around the world, including eight in the United States.

The funding has been used to help Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) provide staff time and expertise to identify repairs to the Watts Towers, provide day-to-day maintenance and long-term care of the Towers, and increase awareness of the landmark. The project was selected because the Watts Towers, constructed between 1921 and 1954 by Simon Rodia, are an iconic part of Los Angeles and due to wear and tear are in need of necessary restoration efforts.

According to Michael Govan, CEO and Wallis Annenberg director of LACMA, “Simon Rodia's Watts Towers are among the most iconic works of art in the world, and they must be preserved for future generations to see and enjoy. We are grateful that Bank of America saw the importance of this endeavor and has chosen to support our conservation efforts.”

Art conservation project recipients were unveiled today at an event at LACMA, including notable projects such as “Number 1A,” “One,” and “Echo” by Jackson Pollock at the Museum of Modern Art; 13 mural drawings by Diego Rivera at the Detroit Institute of Arts, four Tudor paintings at National Portrait Gallery in London, England; “Scholar in His Study” by Rembrandt at the National Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic and a Frida Kahlo photography collection at La Casa Azul in Mexico City, Mexico.

The program was introduced in 2010 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and expanded to the Americas, Asia and Australia in 2012. All of these global regions will continue to receive grant funding in 2013. Including this year’s recipients, the Bank of America Art Conservation Project will have funded the conservation of 57 projects in 25 countries.

Through the conservation of these important works of art around the world, Bank of America is helping to preserve local culture and engaging present and future communities where we live and work.

“Art has a unique ability to connect people and communities and to help economies thrive,” said Rena DeSisto, global arts and culture executive, Bank of America. "The works of art we have selected as part of the 2013 Art Conservation Project can provide a lasting reflection of people and history. As a company with clients in more than 100 countries, we are funding the preservation of these important works to contribute to the cultural enrichment and advancement of future generations."

Bank of America’s support for the arts is diverse and global, and includes loans of our art collection to museums at no cost, sponsorships, grants to arts organizations for arts education, and the preservation of cultural treasures.

“The Watts Towers are an integral part of the culture and history of Los Angeles, so it made sense for us to support its preservation given the bank’s extensive local history,” said Raul Anaya, Bank of America Los Angeles market president. “Bank of America’s philanthropic focus on the arts includes funding for art conservation as a way to protect aging landmarks and artwork of historical significance.”

The full list of 2013 grant recipients includes:

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Detroit Institute of Arts in Detroit, Mich.
  • Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Mo.
  • Museum of Modern Art in New York, N.Y.
  • Miami Art Museum in Miami, Fla.
  • Minneapolis Institute of Art in Minneapolis, Minn.
  • New Bedford Free Public Library in New Bedford, Mass.
  • The Montreal Museum of Fine Art in Montreal, Canada
  • Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Ireland
  • National Portrait Gallery in London, United Kingdom
  • New National Gallery in Berlin, Germany
  • Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France
  • Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria
  • National Art Gallery of Brera in Milan, Italy
  • National Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts in Istanbul, Turkey
  • La Casa Azul – Frida Khalo Museum in Mexico City, Mexico
  • Museu de Arte Moderna de Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Johannesburg Art Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia
  • The Independent Administrative Institution National Institute for Cultural Heritage – Tokyo National Museum in Tokyo, Japan
  • Shike Yisha Bowuguan (Art Museum of Stone Carving) in Beijing, China
  • Shanghai Art Museum in Shanghai, China.

Bank of America Corporate Social Responsibility
Bank of America’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategic part of doing business globally. Our CSR efforts guide how we operate in a socially, economically, financially and environmentally responsible way around the world, to deliver for shareholders, customers, clients and employees. Our goal is to help create economically vibrant regions and communities through lending, investing and giving. By partnering with our stakeholders, we create value that empowers individuals and communities to thrive and contributes to the long-term success of our business. We have several core areas of focus for our CSR, including responsible business practices; environmental sustainability; strengthening local communities with a focus on housing, hunger and jobs; investing in global leadership development; and engaging through arts and culture. As part of these efforts, employee volunteers across the company contribute their time, passion and expertise to address issues in communities where they live and work. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/about and follow us on Twitter at @BofA_Community.

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About LACMA
Since its inception in 1965, LACMA has been devoted to collecting works of art that span both history and geography-and represent Los Angeles's uniquely diverse population. Today, the museum features particularly strong collections of Asian, Latin American, European, and American art, as well as a contemporary art museum on its campus. With this expanded space for contemporary art, innovative collaborations with artists, and an ongoing Transformation project, LACMA is creating a truly modern lens through which to view its rich encyclopedic collection.
Location and Contact: 5905 Wilshire Boulevard (at Fairfax Avenue), Los Angeles, CA, 90036 | 323.857.6000 | lacma.org
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Friday: 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Saturday, Sunday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; closed Wednesday
General Admission: Adults: $15; students 18+ with ID and senior citizens 62+: $10
Free General Admission: Members; children 17 and under; after 3 p.m. weekdays for L.A. County residents; second Tuesday of every month; Target Free Holiday Mondays
Press Contact: For additional information, contact LACMA Communications at press@lacma.org or 323.857.6522.

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Reporters May Contact:
Colleen Haggerty, Bank of America, 949.464.2338
colleen.haggerty@bankofamerica.com