Context as Initiator: A Practical Method of Historical Documentation in the 21st Century

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Presentation given on September 19th at the Association of Indiana Museum's 2011 Conference by Abbott Nixon and Nicole Peters <http: />.

The presentation was based on the work of Jessica Ford, Katherine Langdon, Nicole Peters, and Abbott Nixon, under the supervision of conservator Richard McCoy at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

This presentation will share new research on the history of the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s large and diverse collections of outdoor artworks as a case study for placing context alongside the institutional and conservation histories. Also, this case study will provide general recommendations for the conservation of outdoor artworks, and demonstrate the viability of newly-developed online documentation strategies.

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Context as Initiator: A Practical Method of Historical Documentation in the 21st Century

  1. 1. Context as Initiator: <br />A Practical Method of Historical Documentation in the 21st Century<br />Abbott Nixon<br />Nicole Peters<br />Katherine Langdon<br />Jessica Ford<br />Richard McCoy<br />Indianapolis Museum of Art<br />
  2. 2. Presentation Outline<br />Part 1: Introduction<br /><ul><li> Team Players
  3. 3. Overview of IMA Outdoor Artworks
  4. 4. Project Goals</li></ul>Part 2: IMA Oldfields and Lilly House & Gardens<br /><ul><li> Katherine Langdon’s research presented by Nicole Peters</li></ul>Part 3: IMA Newfields<br /><ul><li> Jessica Ford’s research presented by Abbott Nixon</li></ul>Part 4: IUPUI Loans<br /><ul><li> Presented by Abbott Nixon</li></ul>Part 5: 100 Acres Art & Nature Park<br /><ul><li> Presented by Nicole Peters</li></ul>Part 6: Conclusion<br /><ul><li> Wikipedia Public Art Project</li></li></ul><li>Part 1: Team Players<br />A Collaborative Process<br />Richard McCoy<br />Conservator of Objects & Variable Art,<br />Indianapolis Museum of Art<br />WikiProject Public Art<br />Katherine Langdon<br />Conservation Graduate Student at Buffalo<br />State University<br />Oldfields and Lilly House & Gardens<br />Jessica Ford<br />Conservation Graduate Student at Winterthur/<br />University of Delaware Program in Art <br />Conservation <br />Newfields<br />
  5. 5. Part 1: Team Players<br />A Collaborative Process<br />Abbott Nixon<br />SUNY Fredonia Graduate in Arts Administration, <br />Pre-program Conservation Intern,<br />Indianapolis Museum of Art<br />IUPUI Loans<br />Nicole Peters<br />M.A. Art History Graduate, WVU, Pre-program <br />Conservation Intern, <br />Indianapolis Museum of Art<br />100 Acres Art & Nature Park<br />
  6. 6. Overview of IMA Outdoor Artworks<br />Aerial photograph of the Indianapolis Museum of Art<br />
  7. 7. Aerial photograph of the Indianapolis Museum of Art<br />Grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art<br />
  8. 8. Aerial photograph of the Indianapolis Museum of Art<br />Extent of Oldfields Estate<br />
  9. 9. Aerial photograph of the Indianapolis Museum of Art<br />Extent of Newfields Estate<br />
  10. 10. Aerial photograph of the Indianapolis Museum of Art<br />100 Acres Art & Nature Park<br />
  11. 11. IUPUI Loans<br />Aerial view of IUPUI Campus<br />
  12. 12. IUPUI Loans<br />Locations of loaned artworks<br />
  13. 13. Project Goals<br /><ul><li> Research and understand IMA’s outdoor artworks and their physical, conceptual, technological, and art historical significance.
  14. 14. Use the obtained information to inform both regular maintenance protocol and conservation treatment methodologies that are of best interest to both conservator and curator.
  15. 15. Produce unified, concise, and well-researched documents about the outdoor artworks and share the information interdepartmentally.
  16. 16. Share the information about how the research was performed and also share the technical information realized. This is possible through blogging, Wikipedia, and public speaking venues.</li></li></ul><li>Part 2: Oldfields<br />Katherine Langdon<br />Oldfields<br />A Study of Sculptures<br />on an <br />American Country Place Estate<br />
  17. 17. Location of the Oldfields Estate<br />Sources: Emily Wick<br />and Indy Speedway<br />
  18. 18. Aerial photograph of the Indianapolis Museum of Art<br />Grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art<br />
  19. 19. Aerial photograph of the Indianapolis Museum of Art<br />Extent of the Oldfields Estate<br />
  20. 20. The Development of Oldfields<br />1910s<br />Hugh McK. Landon owned much of modern IMA grounds;<br />Developed 26 acres as estate for his family<br />1920s<br />Hired Percival Gallagher of the Olmsted Brothers to landscape the grounds<br />1932<br />Oldfields sold to J.K. Lilly, Jr., and family<br />1932-1950s<br />Lillys added buildings and landscaping<br />1966<br />Lilly family donated estate and adjacent property to IMA as new campus<br />1970<br />IMA moved to Lilly property<br />1990s<br />IMA hired Heritage Landscapes to renovate the grounds of the estate<br />
  21. 21. Landscapes and Architecture <br />for Function and Beauty<br />Sources: Indianapolis Museum of Art<br /> and FunCityFinder.com<br />
  22. 22. The Sculptures of Oldfields: Documentation and Conservation<br />Tracing all information about each sculpture to create coherent documentation of:<br /><ul><li>“Tombstone information”
  23. 23. Description and current condition
  24. 24. Provenance
  25. 25. Location and movement history
  26. 26. Conservation history</li></ul>Using this information to inform future work:<br /><ul><li>Creating a detailed and accessible report of investigations
  27. 27. Highlighting problems in documentation so that they can be addressed by the appropriate individuals
  28. 28. Giving curators/registrars/conservators a better overall picture of their collections
  29. 29. Creating maintenance and treatment plans for sculptures
  30. 30. Providing historical context for long-term development plans
  31. 31. Provide new information for docents and garden tour guides</li></li></ul><li>Important features of Oldfields<br />Source of Map: <br />Indianapolis Museum of Art<br />
  32. 32. Important features of Oldfields<br />Lilly House and Buildings<br />Source: Wikipedia.org<br />
  33. 33. Important features of Oldfields<br />Grand Allée<br />Source: Indianapolis Museum of Art<br />
  34. 34. Important features of Oldfields<br />Border Gardens<br />Source: Indianapolis Museum of Art<br />
  35. 35. Important features of Oldfields<br />Formal Garden<br />Source: Life in a High School ART room<br />
  36. 36. Important features of Oldfields<br />Lilly House and Buildings<br />Grand Allée<br />Border Gardens<br />Formal Garden<br />Ravine Garden<br />Source: Wikipedia.org<br />
  37. 37. Important features of Oldfields<br />Four Seasons Garden<br />Source: Indianapolis Museum of Art<br />
  38. 38. Important features of Oldfields<br />Lilly House and Buildings<br />Grand Allée<br />Border Gardens<br />Formal Garden<br />Ravine Garden<br />Four Seasons Garden<br />Accessioned Outdoor Sculptures<br />
  39. 39. The Sculptures of Oldfields<br />
  40. 40. Diana with Dog<br />Acc. #: LH2001.226<br />Owner/Caretaker: IMA<br />Location: Garden for Everyone<br />Artist/Period: American<br />Collection: Lilly House<br />Materials: Cast stone<br />Dimensions: 78 x 36 x 30 inches<br />
  41. 41. Replacement of Sculptures<br />Cast stone copy of <br />Diana de Gabies<br />Replaced with resin copy from the same mold<br />Historic sculpture from Ravine Garden, <br />Venus and Erotes With Dolphins<br />Destroyed by falling tree in 1970s<br />Replaced by Nymph and Fawn, IsidoreKonti, 1917, after garden renovation of the 1990s <br />
  42. 42. Part 3: Newfields<br />Jessica Ford<br />Outdoor Sculpture of Newfields<br />Presented by<br /> M. Abbott Nixon<br />
  43. 43. Extent of Newfields Grounds<br />
  44. 44.
  45. 45. Mother and Child<br />Acc. #: 64.741<br />Object: Mother and Child <br />Location: South of North Drive<br />Artist/Period: Dora Gordine/1964<br />Collection: European<br />Materials: Cast bronze<br />Dimensions: 43 ½” x 92 ½” x 14”<br />
  46. 46. LOVE<br />Acc. #: 75.174<br />Object: LOVE<br />Location: East end of Newfields Mall<br />Artist/Period: Robert Indiana/1970<br />Collection: Contemporary<br />Materials: Cor-ten Steel<br />Dimensions: 144 x 144 x 72 in.<br />
  47. 47. The 10 Stages of Man (Numbers 0-9)<br />Acc. #: 1988.241-250<br />Object: The 10 Stages of Man (Numbers 0-9)<br />Location: North of Better Than New Shop<br />Artist/Period: Robert Indiana/1980-1983<br />Collection: Contemporary<br />Materials: Painted Aluminum<br />Dimensions: 8’ x 8’ x 4’ each<br />
  48. 48. Part 4: IUPUI Loans<br />M. Abbott Nixon<br />IUPUI LoanedOutdoor Sculptures<br />Report and Presentation by <br />M. Abbott Nixon<br />
  49. 49.
  50. 50. Examples of Photo Documentation<br />
  51. 51. Spaces with Iron<br />Accession #: 81.220<br />Object: Spaces with Iron<br />Location: IUPUI campus<br />Artist/Period: Will Horwitt/1972<br />Collection: Contemporary<br />Materials: Bronze, Iron<br />Dimensions: 5’9” x 7’ x 4’6”<br />
  52. 52. Portrait of History<br />Accession #: 2001.388<br />Object: Portrait of History<br />Location: IUPUI campus<br />Artist/Period: Shan Zou Zhou & DaHuang Zhou/1997<br />Collection: Contemporary<br />Materials: Patinated Bronze<br />Dimensions: 100” x 24” x 30”<br />
  53. 53. Mega Gem<br />Accession #: 1997.6<br />Object: Mega-Gem<br />Location: IUPUI campus<br />Artist/Period: John Torreano/1989<br />Collection: Contemporary<br />Materials: Aluminum<br />Dimensions: 7'2" × 11' × 7'2"<br />Weight: 2000 lbs.<br />
  54. 54. East Gate/West Gate<br />Accession #: 82.56<br />Object: East Gate-West Gate<br />Location: IUPUI campus<br />Artist/Period: SassonSoffer/1973<br />Collection: Contemporary<br />Materials: Stainless Steel Pipe<br />Dimensions: 24’ x 30’ x 40’<br />Pipe Diameter: 5”<br />Weight: 840 lbs.<br />
  55. 55. Corrosion of East Gate/West Gate<br />
  56. 56. Corrosion Treatment<br />CLR<br />Super Iron Out<br />Bar Keepers Friend<br />10% Phosphoric Acid<br />
  57. 57. During Test and After<br />
  58. 58. Part 5: 100 Acres<br />Nicole Peters<br />100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park<br />Indianapolis Museum of Art<br />
  59. 59. Aerial photograph of the Indianapolis Museum of Art<br />Grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art<br />
  60. 60. Aerial photograph of the Indianapolis Museum of Art<br />100 Acres Art & Nature Park<br />
  61. 61. 100 Acres: Art & Nature Park <br />Site-Specific Location<br />
  62. 62. 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park<br />Patron interaction and exploration<br />
  63. 63. 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park<br />
  64. 64. 100 Acres: “A Living Sculpture Park for the 21st Century.”<br />The Architects:<br /><ul><li> Marlon Blackwell
  65. 65. Edward L. Blake Jr.</li></ul>The Artists:<br /><ul><li> Kendall Buster
  66. 66. Jeppe Hein
  67. 67. Alfredo Jaar
  68. 68. Los Carpinteros
  69. 69. Tea Makipaa
  70. 70. Type A
  71. 71. Atelier Van Lieshout
  72. 72. Andrea Zittel</li></ul> * Mary Miss, 2011<br />Free Basket<br />Los Carpinteros, 2010<br />
  73. 73. 100 Acres: Artwork Locations<br />
  74. 74. 100 Acres: Artwork Locations<br />
  75. 75. 100 Acres: Artwork Locations<br />
  76. 76. 100 Acres: Artwork Locations<br />
  77. 77. 100 Acres: Artwork Locations<br />
  78. 78. 100 Acres: Artwork Locations<br />
  79. 79. 100 Acres: Artwork Locations<br />
  80. 80. 100 Acres: Artwork Locations<br />
  81. 81. 100 Acres: Artwork Locations<br />
  82. 82.
  83. 83. 100 Acres Documentation Process:<br />Researching, collecting, and organizing pertinent information from:<br /><ul><li>Curatorial, Registration, and Conservation Files
  84. 84. Audio and video files
  85. 85. *Email correspondences between galleries, artists, and IMA departments
  86. 86. Interviews with the artist, fabricators, installers, grounds crews</li></ul>Departments Involved in Research Process:<br /><ul><li> Curatorial
  87. 87. Conservation
  88. 88. Registration
  89. 89. IMA Design & Install
  90. 90. Horticulture
  91. 91. Architecture consultants
  92. 92. Engineer consultants
  93. 93. IMA Media & Design
  94. 94. Photography</li></li></ul><li>Funky Bones, Installation Detail<br />Team Building (Align), Artwork Orientation<br />
  95. 95. Indianapolis Island,<br />Cross-section<br />(extracted from video file)<br />Indianapolis Island, Floating Dock Mechanism and Dimensions<br />
  96. 96. 100 Acres<br />Document Layout:<br /><ul><li> “Tombstone” information
  97. 97. Materials
  98. 98. Artist Design/Concept
  99. 99. Project Timeline
  100. 100. Project Team
  101. 101. Location/Physical Description
  102. 102. Construction/Fabrication/Installation
  103. 103. Artist Bio
  104. 104. Maintenance
  105. 105. Conservation Recommendations
  106. 106. Conservation Condition and Treatment Reports</li></ul>Information was interactive between departments through the use of <br />
  107. 107. Goals of 100 Acres Project:<br />Provide accurate information about the 100 Acres artworks and the processes applied to their framework before, during, and after their arrival at the IMA.<br />Make information easily and readily accessible!<br />Bring awareness to contemporary outdoor sculpture and its conservation needs.<br />De-mystify contemporary materials and fabrication processes to allow both museum professionals and visitors to better understand the artwork, both physically and conceptually.<br />Share the process!!! Blogging and Wikipedia.<br />
  108. 108. Art, Color, and Gloss <br />IMAblog, 07/13/2011<br />Preparing Indianapolis Island.<br />IMA blog, 08/10/2011<br />IMA Blogging = Public Outreach<br />
  109. 109. Part 6: Wikipedia Project<br />Funky Bones, Wikipedia page<br />Concept by Richard McCoy<br />Presented by M. Abbott Nixon<br />
  110. 110. Bench Around the Lake, Wikipedia page<br />
  111. 111. Wikipedia<br />What can be gained from spending months on research only to hide it away in a registration file?<br />Wikipedia allows research done by IMA interns to be accessed by the rest of the world<br />These articles build a foundation that others can build on with their expertice.<br />
  112. 112. List of Outdoor Artworks at the IMA<br />
  113. 113. Map Via Google<br />
  114. 114. Link IMA Outdoor Artworks<br />
  115. 115. IMA E-Volunteer Program<br />
  116. 116. Thank You<br />Richard McCoy:<br />rmccoy@imamuseum.org<br />Katherine Langdon:<br />klangdon@wustl.edu<br />Jessica Ford<br />jessicalynnford3@gmail.com<br />

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