Maxwell L. Anderson, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art
, today announced the appointment of Mark Leonard as the Museums first Chief Conservator, effective July 1, 2012. Leonards appointment signals the initial phase of the development of the DMAs conservation program, which will include the addition of staff and the renovation of its onsite spaces to include a paintings conservation studio. Leonard, who stepped down in 2010 as the Head of the Paintings Conservation Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum to pursue his career as an artist, will work with Anderson and the DMAs senior staff to establish the more comprehensive Conservation Department and further develop the Museums Collections and Exhibitions program, informed by his scholarship in the care and preservation of paintings from across the Museums encyclopedic collection.
The Conservation Department at the DMA currently has one staff conservator and a small conservation studio, devoted to the conservation of art objects. With the transformative growth of its collections over the last several decades, the Museum is taking the step to increase its in-house conservation capabilities, both to safeguard the quality of the works in its collection and to benefit from the research in materials and innovative techniques that conservation technology allows. Leonards appointment represents the launch of the DMAs new conservation effort, with Leonard taking the lead upon his arrival this summer, in planning for the new paintings conservation studio and working to integrate the culture of conservation across the Museums collection departments.
Mark brings tremendous experience in the conservation of paintings across a diverse range of historic periods, having previously worked with some of the most comprehensive encyclopedic collections in the nation, as well as internationally, said Anderson. I am delighted to welcome him to the Dallas Museum team, and I know that his knowledge of the latest conservation practices and enthusiasm for integrating conservation into the fabric of the museum experience will help the DMA meaningfully expand its conservation program for the benefit and enjoyment of our community.
The opportunity to work with a collection of the quality, breadth, and depth of that of the Dallas Museum of Art and to help broaden their conservation program provides me with a dynamic opportunity to impact the long-term growth not only of the Museum but of the arts community in Dallas, said Leonard. I am thrilled to be joining the Dallas Museum and to be part of this new venture with them.
Leonard joined the Paintings Conservation Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1983, and served as the Head of the Paintings Conservation Department from 1998 until 2010. Prior to joining the Getty, Leonard worked in the Paintings Conservation Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for five years. He has restored selected paintings from the collections of the Frick Collection, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and the Yale Center for British Art, among many others, and has published extensively on topics relating to conservation study, treatment, technology, and technique. Leonard initially studied as an artist before pursuing degrees in art history and paintings conservation at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.
Fundraising initiatives are underway for the expansion of the Dallas Museum of Arts conservation program, and to date in excess of $1.1 million has been committed to it.