Ulrich gets big grant to help with Miro conservation
The Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University will receive a $150,000 grant to help complete the five-year conservation of the iconic Joan Miro glass mosaic, Personnages Oiseaux (Bird People).
The grant is one of 244 being given to museums throughout the country by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Ulrich Museum is the only recipient in Kansas.
Along with the monetary award, the Ulrich and other 2013 museum winners will be recognized in a workshop and ceremony on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Sept. 18.
The funds from the grant will support the third year of the five-year undertaking to conserve the 26-by-52 foot Venetian glass-and-marble mosaic by Spanish modern artist Joan Miro.
Repairing an icon
The mosaic was created specifically for the Ulrich Museum and installed on its facade in 1978. Produced late in the artist’s life, the mosaic is a world masterpiece, the institution’s preeminent work of art, and a local icon.
The 80-panel mosaic was de-installed in fall 2011 after 33 years of exposure to extreme outdoor elements in Kansas had taken its toll on the work. Conservation of the mosaic is taking place off site at the facility of Russell-Marti Conservation Services Inc. in Missouri. Re-installation will take place in fall 2016.
“We are extremely honored to be the only institution in Kansas to have received this IMLS Museums for America grant,” said Ulrich Museum of Art Director Bob Workman. “Given that only four large-scale murals by Miro exist in the United States, and this is the only predominantly glass mosaic Miro ever created, we have a paramount responsibility to conserve Personnages Oiseaux.”