Innovative conservation projects in prints and drawings


The Getty Foundation has announced its latest round of grants for curatorial innovation in prints and drawings. Founded in 2018, the annual awards are part of the institution’s ongoing Paper Project initiative, which aims to help curators around the world make graphic art collections more accessible to today’s public. This year, the Getty will award more than $ 1.55 million in grants to 19 international cultural institutions for the development of exhibitions, publications and digital programs related to prints and drawings. The winning projects encompass works created over more than 1,000 years of history in dozens of countries and cover a wide range of materials, including unpublished sketchbooks, political posters and cartoons, illuminated manuscripts, architectural plans, maps, etc.

Jacob Lawrence, “Market Scene” (© 2021 the Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

A number of grantees will use the funds to present under-recognized artists and works to the public. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum will present the first exhibition and publication exclusively devoted to dozens of illustrated and annotated travel diaries by artist of the black arts movement Betye Saar. The International Print Center in New York will host an exhibition and publication on Margaret Lowengrund, the first woman to open her own printmaking studio and gallery in the United States. The Chrysler Museum of Art will explore the little-known time of African-American artist Jacob Lawrence in Nigeria in the 1960s and his connections to the Mbari Club cultural group in an in-depth exhibit.

Other projects will bring their collections to a wider audience through digital projects and translation initiatives. The National Gallery of Slovenia will present the first catalog raisonné in English, as well as online content in English, about Hinko Smrekar, a Slovenian illustrator and satirist who was imprisoned for his biting political work and later executed during WWII without trial. Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery will create a digital platform for its extensive collection of paper-cut silhouettes of the early United States, which, due to their arsenic-brittle material, are not readily available to the public. These and other projects will be in development in the near future with support from Getty.

William Bache, portraits of unidentified subjects of New Orleans, from the “Ledger book of William Bache” (c. 1803-1812), silhouettes coated with black paper mounted on paper (copyright National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC , United States, partial gift from Sarah Bache Bloise)

The act of touching allows for a deeper sensory understanding for the viewer while simultaneously creating a rebellion against the terms of visualization, the terms defining the museum and gallery space.

Photographer Fin Serck-Hanssen follows Hedda, a Norwegian woman in her twenties, as she travels for cosmetic surgeries and vaginoplasty.

Sean Baker’s flick about a stranded pornstar seducing a teenage girl is sexually blunt like few American films are today.

Lauren Moya Ford is a writer and artist. His writings have been published in Apollo, Artsy, Atlas Obscura, Flash Art, Frieze, Glasstire, Mousse Magazine and other publications. More from Lauren Moya Ford


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