Grants awarded through the Panel Paintings Initiative fall into several categories, with the majority of funded projects focused on sustained training through the conservation of prominent works of art.

Needs Assessment


Statens Museum for Kunst, Denmark, Copenhagen
One of the first grants in the Panel Paintings Initiative allowed experts at the Statens Museum for Kunst to complete a survey of the field and needs assessment to update information on the most significant collections of panel paintings, the current level of their care, the individuals who would benefit most from training, and the number of conservators who would likely find employment in the field. The survey results provided a clear roadmap for the initiative, setting a goal of training up to 20 conservators through training projects, institutes, and technical workshops. The survey also indicated a need for greater access to training for professionals from Central and Eastern Europe charged with the care of panel paintings collections. Grant funds included support for travel bursaries for conservators and curators to attend a 2009 Panel Paintings Symposium at the Getty organized jointly by the the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, and the J. Paul Getty Museum.
Grant awarded: DKK1,331,000 (2008)

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Training Projects

The Ghent Altarpiece, detail

Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, The Hague
Considered the most important work of early Netherlandish painting in existence, the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, or Ghent Altarpiece, painted in 1432 by Hubert and Jan van Eyck for Saint Bavo Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium was in serious need of care. A series of Getty Foundation grants supported conservation planning, examination, and training related to a thorough condition assessment and emergency stabilization of the altarpiece. The project resulted in an innovative new web application, Closer to Van Eyck, that allows users to zoom into over 100 billion pixels of the altarpiece, creating new possibilities for conservation documentation. The latest grant in the series is supporting phase two of the Ghent Altarpiece web application, which will incorporate high-resolution images produced during and after conservation treatment. Learn more.
Grants awarded: €172,000; €59,400 (2010); €66,000 (2011); €143,000 (2013, to the Churchwardens of St. Bavo Cathedral)

Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Florence, Italy
Composed of five large panels, Giorgio Vasari's The Last Supper (1546) was one of the most damaged artworks to survive the Florence flood more than 40 years ago. A 2010 grant resulted in the structural treatment and stabilization of this monumental painting, which included side-by-side training opportunities for seven conservators with leading experts at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure (OPD). A second grant is allowing OPD conservators to complete an additional series of training residencies through the treatment of four significant panel paintings: Simone Martini's Crucifix from 1321-1325; Fra Angelico's San Marco Altarpiece from ca. 1438-1443; Leonardo da Vinci's Adoration of the Magi from 1482; and Alessandro Allori's Christ on the Cross between the Virgin and Saint John from ca. 1550-1555.
Grants awarded: €300,000 (2010); €383,000 (2013)

Bosch, Ascent into Heaven
 
Stichting Noordbrabants Museum
A 2013 Getty grant is supporting training residencies for two post-graduate level conservators related to the treatment of three multi-panel works by Hieronymus Bosch. Upon completion of the project, the paintings will be included in the 2016 Bosch retrospective at the Noordbrabants Museum on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the artist's death. A second Getty grant is supporting the innovative website Bosch Online, an interactive tool that will allow art historians, conservators, and the public to compare detailed images of nearly 40 Bosch paintings from 26 museum collections across Europe and the United States.
Grants awarded: €145,400 (2013); €175,000 (2013)

Kunsthistorisches Museum mit Museum für Völkerkunder und Österreichischem Theatermuseum
The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna is completing a training project related to six paintings by Pieter Brueghel the Elder from the museum’s unparalleled collection of works by the great Netherlandish painter. Over the course of two years, ten conservators are receiving training by working alongside experts to complete thorough condition assessments and develop structural treatment protocols.
Grant awarded: €190,000 (2012)


Courtauld Institute of Art, London
The Courtauld in London received a Panel Paintings grant to support training activities related to the conservation treatment of Gerino da Pistoia's Virgin with Child and Saints (1510) and condition assessments of three other paintings, including Botticelli's Holy Trinity (ca. 1494). The project will prepare two conservators at the Courtauld to assume the training mantle and also provide shorter residencies at the postgraduate level for conservators from Central and Eastern Europe.
Grant awarded:$231,000 (2012)

Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow, Poland
This two-year training program provides advanced training for conservators from Eastern Europe through the treatment of six panels by Hans Süss von Kulmbach, the most prominent apprentice of Albrecht Dürer. The project grew out of a 2010 Summer Institute in Cracow, which led the Academy to seek further professional development for its staff to bring them in line with international standards for panel paintings conservation. Midway through the treatment, organizers also held a week-long training institute on panel paintings conservation for professionals from Central and Eastern Europe.
Grant awarded:$239,600 (2012)

Rubens, Triumph of the Eucharist
 
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
In 1626, Peter Paul Rubens completed one of the most important commissions of his lifetime—a suite of finished oil sketches on wood known as the Triumph of the Eucharist series. Six panels from the series have been preserved at the Prado Museum, but past structural interventions have caused cracks, deformations, and uneven surfaces in the wood, threatening the painted surfaces. The Prado's 2011 grant supported training for seven conservators through the structural treatment of these significant paintings. A second grant is now supporting postgraduate training related to the treatment of three 16-century Flemish genre paintings by Joachim Beuckelaer and Marinus van Reymerswaele, ideal case studies for postgraduates given their unique structural problems.
Grants awarded: €270,000 (2011); €110,000 (2013)

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
An early grant in the Getty's Panel Painting Initiative was directed toward the treatment of Albrecht Dürer's Adam and Eve diptych of 1507. The project was a collaboration between conservators at the Museo del Prado in Madrid and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and it resulted in the training of three younger conservators. Learn more.

In 2011, the Metropolitan Museum of Art received a second grant to host three postgraduate training residencies in the structural conservation of paintings on panel. One fellow at a time is working closely alongside Met conservators in one of the most preeminent conservation studios in the United States.
Grants awarded: $134,000 (2008); $224,600 (2011)

Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Brussels
The Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Brussels is hosting four training residencies to assist with treatment activities related to nine works in its collection, including paintings by Cranach the Elder, Jacob Cuyp, Dirck van Delen, and Pieter Aertsen. Trainees gain exposure to a wide variety of structural conservation techniques and have the opportunity to connect with other leading experts in the field through periodic convenings at the museum to discuss treatment protocols.
Grant awarded: €280,000 (2011)

University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge's Hamilton Kerr Institute (HKI) and London Ebury Street Studio received a 2011 grant for three postgraduate training residencies related to the treatment of paintings from the Royal Collection of the United Kingdom. Trainees acquired skills in the application of non-invasive stabilization techniques that have been developed by leading conservators from HKI and Ebury Street over the past three decades. A second grant will train postgraduates on the treatment of 11 additional paintings from the Royal Collection, including Lucas Cranach the Elder's Judgment of Solomon (1519).
Grants awarded: £90,000 (2013); £138,000 (2011)

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Institutes and Technical Workshops

Training institute and treatment at the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden

Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SKD)
With Getty support SKD organized and hosted a ten-day institute to introduce best practices in the structural conservation of panel paintings to 28 curators and conservators from Germany and Central and Eastern Europe. The program included theoretical and practical topics, visits to local collections and conservation laboratories, and hands-on workshops that involved both curators and conservators as equal partners in treatment decisions. The project also incorporated treatment of works in the SKD collections, including Bartholomäus Sarburgh's Madonna of the Basel Mayor Jacob Meyer zum Hasen (1637).
Grant awarded: £166,000(2012)

Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg (SRAL), Netherlands
SRAL received support to develop three workshops specifically designed for the postgraduate trainees of the Panel Paintings Initiative. The workshops complement the project-based training provided through other Getty grants and focus on providing a deeper understanding of the historic context of panel paintings conservation. The workshops will also strengthen the postgraduates' professional network, allowing them to come together as a group and meet colleagues at the premier institutions working in the structural conservation of panel paintings.
Grant awarded: €180,000 (2013)

Statens Museum for Kunst, Denmark, Copenhagen
A grant awarded to the Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen supported a summer institute at the Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow in 2010 that brought together 20 curators and conservators from the former Soviet Union, paired with Western European specialists, to introduce best practices in the structural conservation of panel paintings.
Grant awarded: €148,500 (2010)

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Translation of Key Resources

Conservators at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure work on Vasari's <i>Last Supper</i>

Opificio delle Pietre Dure (OPD), Florence, Italy
A 2013 training grant to the OPD, a leading center for the structural conservation of panel paintings and a key training partner, also includes support to translate into English and publish online a select group of its most important articles in the field of panel paintings conservation. Access to these texts has been limited because they are out of print or dispersed in volumes with small print runs that are now difficult to obtain.

Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA), Brussels, Belgium
With Getty support, KIK-IRPA is undertaking the transaltion and online publication of Hélène Verougstraete's Cadres et supports dans la peinture flamande aux 15e et 16e siècles. The book is an invaluable resource to conservators in determining structural treatment protocols, however it was self-published in a small print run and only in French, both of which have limited its accessibility.
Grant awarded: €100,000 (2013)

Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark
Experts at the Statens Museum for Kunst are overseeing the translation and online publicaion of Jacqueline Marette's book Connaissance des primitifs par l'étude du bois du XIIe au XVIe siècle. This resource remains the only volume that looks comprehensively at the production, techniques, conservation, and science of wood panels, yet it is now difficult to access, as it was published in French over 50 years ago and is long out of print.
Grant awarded: DKK680,000 (2013)

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Images (top to bottom): Conservators complete a surface refinement after repairs. Image courtesy Aline Genbrugge; Adoration of the Lamb from of the Ghent Altarpiece. Image courtesy http://closertovaneyck.kikirpa.be; Conservators and colleagues of the Old Masters Paintings Gallery Dresden discussing the condition of the The Madonna of the Burgomaster of Basel Jacob Meyer zum Hasen (copy by Bartholomäus Sarburgh after Hans Holbein the Younger) in the paintings conservation studio of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. From left to right: Marlies Giebe, Ray Marchant, Bernhard Maaz, Uta Neidhardt, Axel Börner, Christoph Schölzel. Image courtesy Hans-Peter Klut, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden; Conservators investigate one of the panels from Vasari's Last Supper. Image courtesy Opificio delle Pietre Dure