Art and Science: What Lies Underneath Renowned Richard Diebenkorn Painting?

January 9, 2017 at 12:00 PM Eastern

Bank of America has awarded an Art Conservation Project grant to Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University to restore “Window” by Richard Diebenkorn. As a unique opportunity to support the intersection of art and science, funding from this highly competitive global arts conservation program will allow further research into an underpainting that was discovered using a digital infrared camera by a Stanford-based art fellow at Cantor’s Art + Science Lab.

In addition to the conservation grant, Bank of America awarded funding to purchase new infrared reflectography equipment sensitive to a much larger range of the infrared spectrum to continue exploring the alternate composition by Diebenkorn that was discovered by Stanford University sophomore Katherine Van Kirk. The painting will also be transported to Stanford Hospital to conduct X-radiography. By analyzing the painting with X-rays and in the infrared, it is believed that a better picture of what is below “Window” will be obtained, furthering the understanding of the artist’s work method.

Diebenkorn, who was best known for his abstract series, was noted in the mid-century for helping to develop a unique form of figuration now referred to as the Bay Area Figurative Movement. He attended Stanford and graduated in 1949.

“Being able to preserve and explore art with technology speaks to the innovative environment characteristic of Silicon Valley,” said Raquel González, Silicon Valley market president, Bank of America. “We’re excited to support the Cantor Arts Center with this grant to help bring new insight to renowned artist Diebenkorn and his ‘Window,’ and look forward to seeing what the new technologies yield for Cantor to share more broadly.”

The Bank of America Art Conservation Project is a unique program that provides grants to nonprofit museums throughout the world to conserve historically or culturally significant works of art that are in danger of deterioration. Since the program’s launch in 2010, Bank of America has provided grants to museums in 29 countries supporting over 100 conservation projects. This year’s recipients include: “Blue Boy,” a painting by Thomas Gainsborough at The Huntington Library in Los Angeles; a painting by Claude Monet at the Kimbell Art Museum in Ft. Worth, Texas; Andy Warhol’s silkscreen on linen “Jackie Frieze, 1964” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago; and a sixth-century haniwa (terracotta tomb figure) “Warrior in Keiko Armor” at the National Tokyo Museum.

For more information, please visit the Art Conservation Project website.

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