Getty Foundation Awards Over $1 Million to Fund Curatorial Innovation at 15 Art Institutions

Grants will bring visibility to understudied prints and drawings collections for present-day museum audiences

The Getty Foundation has awarded 15 new grants totaling nearly $1.3 million to support exhibitions, publications, digital projects, and workshops that foster curatorial innovation in the graphic arts as part of its Paper Project initiative.

Created in 2018, The Paper Project funds a variety of projects by ambitious curators across the world who study prints and drawings, simultaneously boosting their professional development and bringing new discoveries about works on paper to light.

“These grants celebrate the resourcefulness of graphic arts curators who are focusing on hidden gems and neglected artists within their institutions’ own walls that can resonate with today’s museum audiences,” says Heather MacDonald, senior program officer at the Getty Foundation. “We’re also empowering curators to collaborate with conservators and use cutting-edge technology to unlock paper’s material secrets.”

Spanning nine countries including Malta, Peru, and Sweden, these curatorial projects illuminate centuries of artistic experimentation in drawings and prints, ranging from the darkly imaginative scenes of military life during World War II by Vietnam-born French illustrator Jean Delpech, to the playful optimism of “Rainbow Artist” Ay-Ō’s technicolor prints that push the capacity of silkscreen to its limits. 

Grant Highlights
With support from the grant, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery—soon to become the Buffalo AKG Art Museum—in Buffalo, New York will elevate the graphic artworks of Venezuelan-American artist Marisol Escobar (popularly known as Marisol) through a digital project to be released in conjunction with a retrospective exhibition of her work. Largely known for her large-scale sculptures that fuse pop and folk art, Marisol drew enormous critical and commercial attention in the 1960s and 1970s and, upon her death in 2016, donated her entire estate to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. 

Curatorial fellow Dr. Julia Vázquez is leading the development of a microsite, which will include extensive information about Marisol’s works on paper, an interpretive essay, and a searchable image gallery. The project is an opportunity to study Marisol’s lesser-known commitment to paper as an artistic medium and research, catalogue, conserve, and photograph the approximately 400 works on paper included in Marisol’s bequest. 
“Marisol’s little-known but lifelong practice on paper rivals her sculptural practice in its ingenuity and variety,” says Vázquez. “I am thrilled to be spearheading an initiative to bring this body of work to light and to amplify the work of a Latin American woman and immigrant artist who belongs in the history of 20th-century American art.”

Klassik Stiftung Weimar in Weimar, Germany plans to use its grant to conduct a workshop for emerging curators to learn about the latest developments in technical research being applied to the study of drawings, from ink analyses of Rembrandt sketches to the spectroscopy of colors used by Bauhaus artists.

“Fundamental progress in the technical analysis of drawings confronts curators of art on paper with both challenges and exciting new opportunities,” says Dr. Christoph Orth, curator at Klassik Stiftung Weimar. “The Paper Project grant will support us in exploring the tensions between science and connoisseurship to develop fresh perspectives in the field of research on drawings.”

Another workshop, organized by The Courtauld Gallery in London, will investigate Avant et après (Before and After), Paul Gauguin’s last major manuscript, recently acquired by the Gallery. The volume is rife with difficult imagery and texts that criticize the French colonial and church authorities in Polynesia, yet it is also peppered with examples of the artist’s own racism and misogyny. This workshop aims to approach and examine the manuscript from various perspectives and post-colonial viewpoints. Grant support will convene Gauguin scholars, paper conservators, and prints and drawings specialists to better understand the materials, structure, and context of the manuscript as the Courtauld determines its final presentation to the public.

2022 grantees
Full descriptions of grants
Albright-Knox Art Gallery—for a digital project on Marisol. Project lead: Julia M. Vázquez

Biblioteca Comunale degli Intronati—for a publication, digital project, and exhibition on The Gori Pannilini Collection. Project lead: Benedetta Spadaccini

Corporación Museo La Tertulia—for a publication and digital project on three graphic arts biennials of the 1970s. Project leads: Juan Pablo Fajardo and Ayda Cristina Garzón

Fondazione Museo Miniscalchi-Erizzo—for an exhibition, publication, and digital project on the museum’s historic collection of Italian drawings. Project leads: Thomas Dalla Costa, Maria Aresin, and Gabriele Matino

Heritage Malta—for a digital project on the early modern drawings of the Malta National Community Art Museum (MUŻA). Project leads: Bernadine Scicluna and Krystle Attard Trevisan

Klassik Stiftung Weimar—for a workshop on technical approaches to studying drawings. Project leads: Stephan Dahme, Christoph Orth, Uwe Golle, and Carsten Wintermann

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (MAC Lima) —for an exhibition on the works on paper collection of the the MAC Lima. Project leads: Nicolas Gomez Echeverri and Giuliana Vidarte Basurco

Musée de l’Armée—for a publication and digital project on the prints and drawings of Jean Delpech. Project leads: Laëtitia Desserrières and Hélène Boudou-Reuzé

Nationalmuseum—for a digital project on 18th-century architectural drawings. Project lead: Anna Bortolozzi

Smithsonian Institution—for an exhibition and publication on the prints of Ay-Ō, organized by the National Museum of Asian Art. Project lead: Kit Brooks

The Courtauld—for a workshop on Paul Gauguin’s manuscript, Avant et après. Project lead: Ketty Gottardo

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) —for a project on the drawings of Georgia O’Keeffe. Project lead: Samantha Friedman

The Whitworth, The University of Manchester—for an exhibition and publication on Albrecht Dürer’s prints and the material culture of Renaissance Germany. Project lead: Imogen Holmes-Roe

Williams College Museum of Art—for an exhibition and publication on Teddy Sandoval and the Butch Gardens School of Art, organized in partnership with the Vincent Price Art Museum. Project lead: David Evans Frantz

Yale University Art Gallery—for a workshop on new approaches to early modern works on paper. Project leads: Freyda Spira, Liliana Milkova, and Marisa Bass

Read more about past and present Paper Project grants

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