The first winners of grants from the new TEFAF
Museum Restoration Fund have been selected by an international panel of experts. The Denver Art Museum in the United States and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam will receive financial assistance for restoration work on a painting by Canaletto and a group of bronze memorial statuettes from the tomb of Isabella of Bourbon respectively. The Fund has been set up by TEFAF Maastricht, the worlds best art and antiques fair, as part of a series of initiatives marking its Silver Jubilee at the MECC (Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre) from 16 25 March 2012. Up to 50,000 will be awarded annually towards the restoration and conservation of museum objects.
The Denver Art Museum will receive 26,000 towards restoration work on Venice: The Molo from the Bacino di S. Marco painted by Canaletto c1736. The panel which made the decision says: The main reasons that the panel chose the Denver Art Museums project were the indisputable authenticity of the Canaletto and the innovative way that art lovers worldwide will be able to follow this project.
The Rijksmuseum will receive 22,000 towards work on a group of ten bronze memorial statuettes from the tomb of Isabella of Bourbon which date from 1476. The panel says: The reasons for our decision were the urgency of of the conservation and the prominent place that the group of objects will have in the museum once it reopens in 2013. Many people from all over the world will be able to enjoy them.
The panel which made the decisions is chaired by Professor Dr Henk van Os of the University of Amsterdam, who is Chairman of the Antiquairs Vetting Committees at TEFAF. Its other members are Dame Rosalind Savill, the former Director of the Wallace Collection in London, and Rachel Kaminsky, a private art dealer from New York who was formerly head of the Old Master paintings department at Christies.
A small exhibition in the Business Pavilion at TEFAF will display details of both the winning restoration schemes.
In assessing the projects, the experts took the following general criteria into account:
How will the art world benefit from this project?
How will the public benefit from this project?
How significant will the donation be for this museum/project?
The TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund was created out of the desire to give something back to the great number of museums whose representatives regularly visit our fair, says Ben Janssens, Chairman of TEFAF Maastricht. It aims to make a contribution to the conservation of objects that are in those museums collections and to support the sharing of knowledge about conservation, not only with other museums, but also with the general public.
In November last year, those museums whose representatives came to TEFAF in 2011 were sent a letter inviting them to put forward any works of art from their collections that require restoration and/or conservation. Despite this years tight deadline, more than 20 applicants sent us details of their projects. We expect this number to grow considerably in the coming years. The total amount can be spent on a single project, but may also be split among a number of different projects at the discretion of TEFAF and the panel of experts.
We would also like to invite all museum representatives who visit TEFAF 2012 to leave their contact details with one of our exhibitors or at the central desk in the foyer. They will be sent a letter in April inviting them to apply for the 2013 TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund, whose beneficiaries will be announced in July.