A Project for Conservation


On February 1, 2018, the Mulvane Art Museum concurrently launched an exhibition and fundraising project titled Endangered Art. Curatorial staff selected works from the Museum’s permanent collection identified as “most in need of conservation,” to be incorporated in a rare exhibit (February 2, 2018- July 14, 2018) providing an opportunity for the public to see twenty-seven paintings that do not typically go on view because they are in need of conservation, cleaning, and framing.

Mulvane curatorial staff engaged an art conservator to assess the selected/exhibited paintings and is currently working to raise the necessary funds to conserve all twenty-seven artworks. On Friday, May 4, 2018, the Museum unveiled the first painting to receive conservation, an untitled seventeenth-century oil painting depicting the biblical narrative of the meeting of David and Abigail. Since then, five more paintings have received conservation, Aloysius O’Kelly, The Path to the Well, late 1800’s, Clarisse Madeline Laurent, Untitled (Portrait of a Man), 1891, George Stone, Model for a Head of Christ, early 1900’s, Clarisse Madeline Laurent, Eggs, 1892, and Charles W. Hawthorne, Wildflowers, 1928.

In the summer of 2019, the Mulvane will display a follow-up exhibition, Endangered Art: A Reprise (May 24, 2019 – August 17, 2019) to update an intellectually, emotionally, and financially engaged public on the status of the project. This exhibition will demonstrate the dramatic transformation of our conserved paintings to date, incorporate behind the scenes documentation of the conservation process, and present new research generated as a result of the conservation process.

Endangered Art serves to fulfill the Mulvane Art Museum’s mission, “to provide members of our community a museum where they can learn to think independently and critically about art,” and intersects with Washburn University’s 2022 Strategic Plan to continue educational programs “firmly rooted in the liberal arts and sciences, emphasizing creative and critical thinking.” The generated research and correlated programming for this project will provide insights into the field of art conservation and will underscore Endangered Art’s interdisciplinary scope—utilizing science and technology.

This comprehensive endeavor engages the community on a personal level, allowing visitors and members of Washburn University to feel a sense of ownership and responsibility for the artworks as they receive conservation. Please call (785) 670-2224 if you would like more information about this project.

GET IN TOUCH WITH The Mulvane Art Museum

Mulvane Art Museum
1700 SW Jewell Avenue
Topeka, KS 66621

Phone & Email
Phone: 785.670.1124
Staff Contact Page

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Washburn University prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, veteran status, or marital or parental status. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Dr. Pamela Foster, Equal Opportunity Director/Title IX Coordinator, Washburn University, 1700 SW College Ave, Topeka, Kansas 66621, 785.670.1509, eodirector@washburn.edu.

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